Fashola okays cremation in Lagos …signs bill into law MURITALA AYINLA
agos State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday accented to the controversial Crema-
Vol. 31 N0. 640 115
tion Bill presented to him by the state lawmakers after months of heated public debate. With the development, residents of the state now have the legal backing to
choose to cremate with reasons. Also, unclaimed corpses may be subjected to cremation to decongest the state’s mortuaries. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Court reserves judgement in Al-Mustapha, Sofolahan’s appeal P.5
Tuesday, Tuesday,June June7,11, 2011 2013
FG uncovers 45,000 ghost workers, saves N118bn Jonathan gives NPA, NIMASA marching orders on port security
TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Federal Government said yesterday that it had so far eliminated 45,000 ghost workers from the federal payroll, saving N118bn. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, disclosed this in Abuja at her 2013 ministerial press briefing. She noted that the computerisation of the public sector payroll system had helped to plug leakages in personnel costs. The minister said that CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Aerial view of highway A92/A3 near Deggendorf, southern Germany flooded by Danube river. Also, thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in eastern Germany where the Elbe river has flooded and burst through a dam. PHOTO: AP
CNPP, CPC, lawyers fault INEC order on campaigns
No plan to alter emergency act –Senate UNESCO rates Nigeria low in access to P.4,46 school
Analysts rate Access Bank high
2015 elections will be better, says Jega
Mandela’s condition serious, but stable
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
FG uncovers 45,000 ghost workers, saves N118bn CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
with about 215 Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, captured so far in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, and Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS, about N118bn had been saved to government’s coffers since the implementation. She noted that with the level of success recorded so far and commitment by government to ensure that fraudulent practices were eliminated from the public sector payroll system, by 2014 or early 2015, ghost workers would have been completely addressed. “We have to step away from the manual management of our finances, whereby for instance, for payment we use to send money in bulk to ministries to pay their staff, we have now put in place strict electronic platforms. “The Integrated Personnel and Payroll Management System is in place and it is allowing us to pay staff directly through biometric data means. We haven’t done all MDAs; we have done about 215 and this exercise has helped us
weed out about 45,000 ghost workers and saved ourselves about N118bn.” She said that more funds would be saved and reinjected into other viable projects in the economy by the time all the MDAs were incorporated into the system. The minister added that the present administration was committed to introducing initiatives that would make transactions amongst MDAs easier and reduce corruption in the system. Okonjo-Iweala urged Nigerians to have faith in the present administration, adding that steady progress was being made in the various sectors of the economy. She said that the Ministry of Finance had been transparent in the disbursement of the funds through a periodic publication The minister, however, admitted that despite the high Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth rate and other macroeconomic gains of the ongoing transformation agenda, the challenges of unemployment and poor living conditions of the citizenry remained a major constraint to achiev-
ing inclusive growth in the economy. The minister said this problem would be solved by expanding productivity across the key sectors of the economy through appropriate policy initiatives in the months ahead. Okonjo-Iweala used different sizes of baked cakes and consumers that depended on them for survival to illustrate the correlation of the growing GDP to the nation’s sustainable development.
She explained that while the GDP rate alone might not paint a total picture of the performance of the economy, it remained one of the fundamental indices to measure growth and project the direction of any economy. The minister said: “People that say GDP growth is not important do not understand how it works. Without GDP growth you cannot even begin to solve the problems of the country.
“GDP is the income of the country. If it is not growing, it means we will get poorer and poorer. Population is growing at 2.5 per cent per annum, if we do not grow our GDP, it will become worse and worse. “And let me start with something that we said during the mid-term report. The first is on the macroeconomy. I want to report that the economy is strong and stable. But of course we are facing challenges of inequality and inclusion,
meaning that even though the economy is strong, we have problems with jobs and unemployment. “We have problems with wanting to eradicate poverty. We need to move faster in order to tackle these problems. “So, we are not saying that everything is solved. But we know that the stability provides a platform on which we can use to solve the other problems.” Insisting that the econoCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
L-R: Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; President Goodluck Jonathan and Chairman, NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group, Mr. Ledum Mitee, during a visit to the President in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE.
Fashola okays cremation in Lagos CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Under the new law, failure to show up to collect the ashes of the burnt corpses after a 14-day notice would lead to their disposal by the state government subject to the consent and approval of the Commissioner for Health. Speaking after signing the bill into law, Fashola stressed the cremation law was voluntary and commended members of the state House of Assembly for responding to global yearnings. The governor also signed the law establishing Ibile Oil and Gas Company and the legislation regulating the Christian and Muslim pilgrims’ welfare boards. Fashola explained that the enactment of the cremation law showed how the concept of globalisation had taken its roots in the state. Explaining the concept of the new law, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr.
Ade Ipaye, reiterated that the law was voluntary, saying only those who chose to burn their relatives could do so. He said:”It is voluntary in the sense that it allows for voluntary cremation, whereby a person may signify interest to be cremated when he dies or a deceased’s family members who must attain the age of 18 years can decide to have the corpse cremated. “The law now makes it legal for the state government to cremate unclaimed corpses in its mortuaries after a period of time.” The commissioner stressed that if the owners of the corpse also failed to show up to collect the ashes after a14-day notice it would be disposed by the state government subject to the consent and approval of the Commissioner for Health. Ipaye added that Section 2 of the law stipulated that no cremation could take place except in a crematorium established by the Min-
istry of Health or by any other body after approval by the Commissioner for Health. The attorney-general listed the guidelines to get permission to cremate and those who could apply for it is stipulated in Section 6 of the law. He also affirmed that the cremator in charge might bury the ashes in a burial ground if “within one year after the cremation, the applicant does not give reasonable written instructions for the disposal of the ashes.” Ipaye added that those who could seek permission to cremate include a child or children of the deceased; a close relative of the deceased; an undertaker and an agent/legal representative. The commissioner said that Section 10 of the law states that the cremator in charge of a crematorium must not dispose of the ashes after a cremation except in accordance with any
reasonable written instructions of the applicant. Meanwhile, reactions have, however, trailed the passage by some residents. A civil servant, Mr. Ade Olayiwola, lauded the law, saying that the fact that cremation was voluntary made it acceptable. “I think we are too religious in this part of the world, why shouldn’t people cremate if they chose to?” he said. Several organisations had criticised the passage of the law. Reacting to the passage of the bill, Head of Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, described the action taken by the House as a ‘hidden agenda’. He said: “During the public hearing of the bill at the House of Assembly, it was opposed to not only by Muslims but by citizens of the state. “We have not for one minute supported the bill. Those who sponsored and
fast- tracked the passage of that bill have a hidden agenda. We are waiting to see the law come into being but we appeal to our Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, not to impose this bill on Lagosians by signing it into law.” The Chairman, Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria, Lagos State chapter, Ishaq Adeshina, however, berated the action of members of the House of Assembly, stressing that Muslims in the state would not support the idea. He noted that under Shari’ah, life is sacred and that there must be a befitting burial for a dead Muslim. The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, MSSN, Lagos chapter, said the bill was not only inhuman and barbaric but also antiIslam. A statement by MSSN and made available to National Mirror noted that burial of humans in the earth is not a matter of economics of land avail-
ability but a mercy from the creator and to show that dignity could be retained even in death. The MSSN urged the state government to be sincere with the people of the state on the issue, noting that anything contrary to popular opinion would not be accepted. “From the information at our disposal, it is obvious that the state government has concluded plans to put the policy in place. “We understand that the budget for the construction of a crematorium had been made in 2009 and that such is almost completed at the Mainland Hospital, Lagos. “If this is true, then we view this as hypocrisy and insincerity of the highest order on the part of a government that claims to be operating democracy. The position that mass burial of corpses on land poses health hazards to the people of Lagos State does not hold any water.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Depression could be contagious! – Researchers say you could be prone to illness if surrounded by gloomy people
ou may have to watch the moods of people around you closely if you desire to stay healthy. A new study from Indiana’s University of Notre Dame, has revealed that those who had close contact with people suffering from depression were more likely to develop it themselves. The study which involved a a group of college students found that certain types of depressive thinking can spread from closeliving roommates like a lingering flu. Individuals suffering from depression, described as a medical condition and an illness which causes the moog to go wild making the individual feel very low in spirit continuously for a long time is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is estimated that over ten million Nigerians could be suffering from depressive illness. Yet, over three quarters of those affected will go unreported and without treatment. The few cases that will get to the hospital on the other hand will not get the right treatment as only the symptom they are manifesting such as sleeplessness or physical pain will be treated. Now, researchers say depression could be highly contagious and can be transmitted socially. The research, from psychological scientists Gerald Haeffel and Jennifer Hames of the University of Notre Dame, published recently in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. show that people who respond negatively to stressful life events, interpreting the events as the result of factors they can’t change and as a reflection of their own deficiency, are more vulnerable to depression. The authors recruited 108 incoming college freshmen at a private university in the Midwest, including 42 men with male roommates and 66 women with female roommates randomly assigned by the college.
NOT SO GOOD: Faces of depression
Within their first month of school, the students took an online survey about their thinking styles, stress exposure and depression symptoms. They were surveyed again online three months and six months later. Haeffel and his team explored two types of thinking previously linked with depression. The first involved rumination or constant brooding about what’s going wrong. “A person who broods will focus on his or her negative mood,” says Haeffel. “(They) will think about how sad they feel, try to understand why (they) feel depressed and worry about the implications of their sadness. In contrast, someone who does not brood will tend to distract themselves when feeling sad (for example, by exercising).” The second depressive style that was examined is known as “hopelessness,” which Haeffel says “gets at the self-worth implications and consequences of an event.” For example, a person who feels hopeless
might lose a job and see it as a personal failure and a sign that he will never be employable again. A more resilient person might blame the economy or see the situation as an opportunity to get a better position. The results revealed that freshmen who were randomly assigned to a roommate with high levels of cognitive vulnerability were likely to “catch” their roommate’s cognitive style and develop higher levels of cognitive vulnerability; those assigned to roommates who had low initial levels of cognitive vulnerability experienced decreases in their own levels. The contagion effect was evident at both the 3-month and 6-month assessments. Most importantly, changes in cognitive vulnerability affected risk for future depressive symptoms: Students who showed an increase in cognitive vulnerability in the first 3 months of college had nearly twice the level of depressive symptoms at 6
months than those who didn’t show such an increase. The findings provide striking evidence for the contagion effect, confirming the researchers’ initial hypothesis. Based on these findings, Haeffel and Hames suggest that the contagion effect might be harnessed to help treat symptoms of depression: “Our findings suggest that it may be possible to use an individual’s social environment as part of the intervention process, either as a supplement to existing cognitive interventions or possibly as a stand-alone intervention,” they write. “Surrounding a person with others who exhibit an adaptive cognitive style should help to facilitate cognitive change in therapy.” According to the researchers, the results of this study indicate that it may be time to reconsider how we think about cognitive vulnerability.
YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW
Studies find prayer leads to forgiveness in relationships
raying for a romantic partner or close friend can lead to more cooperative and forgiving behaviour toward the partner, according to a new study co-authored by a Florida State University researcher. The findings are significant because they are the first in which the partners who are the subject of the prayers reported a positive change in the behavior of the person who prayed, said Frank D. Fincham, scholar and director of the Florida
State University Family Institute. “My previous research had shown that those who prayed for their partner reported more prosocial behavior toward their partner, but self-reports are subject to potential biased reporting,” Fincham said. “This set of studies is the very first to use objective indicators to show that prayer changed actual behavior, and that this behavior was apparent to the other partner, the subject of the prayer.”
Long-term use of prescription painkillers linked to ED in men
egularly taking prescription painkillers, also known as opioids, is associated with a higher risk of erectile dysfunction, according to a study published online recently in the journal Spine. The researchers included more than 11,000 men with back pain in the study and examined
their health records to find out if the men taking prescription painkillers were more likely to also receive prescriptions for testosterone replacement or ED medications. More than 19 percent of men who took high-dose opioids for at least four months also received ED prescriptions, while fewer than
7 percent of men who did not take opioids received ED prescriptions. In the study, men over 60 were much more likely to receive ED prescriptions, but even after researchers adjusted for age and other factors, men taking high-dose opioids were still 50 percent more likely to receive ED prescriptions than men who did not take prescription painkillers.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R: Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Taofeek Tijani; Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Hodewu Avoseh; Governor Babatunde Fashola and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, during the signing of three bills into law in Lagos, yesterday. L-R: Regional Director, Ikoyi and Lagos Island, Skye Bank Plc, Ms. Nkolika Okoli; new Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Mustafa Pulat and Head, E-Channels, Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Chuks Iku, during a courtesy visit to the ambassador in Abuja, yesterday.
L-R: Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, First City Monument Bank Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun; Company Secretary, Mrs. Olajumoke Bakare and Director, Otunba Olutola Senbore, at the bank’s shareholders’ forum in Lagos, yesterday.
L-R: Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Ade Bajomo; Chief Executive Officer, Renaissance Capital West Africa, Yvonne Ike; Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema and Chief Executive Officer, Renaissance Capital, Mr. John Hyman, during the company’s bell ringing ceremony in Lagos, yesterday.
Senate has no plan to alter emergency proclamation act –Inang Jonathan meets security chiefs
GEORGE OJI AND ROTIMI FADEYI
he Chairman of the Senate Committee on Business and Rules, Senator Eta Inang, yesterday said that the Senate has no plan to alter the emergency proclamation act of 2013. The lawmaker, who spoke against the background of the reported
move by the House of Representatives to seek an amendment to the act to restrict President Goodluck Jonathan from controlling federal allocations to the affected three northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa said the act, which was passed by both chambers of the parliament cannot be altered for any reason. Enang recalled that the act was the product of the joint decision of both
Reps summon Water Ministry over contracts’ abandonment TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
he House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee yesterday summoned the Ministry of Water Resources and River Basin Development Authorities over the abandonment of projects across the country. The committee said the abandonment of contracts by the ministry and the various River Basin Development Authorities across the country must be accounted for. The committee’s chairman, Hon. Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, issued
the summons in Abuja when the management of the Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority, Yola, led by its Managing Director, Mr. Suleiman Naibi Musa, appeared before the committee following the queries raised by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) on three separate contracts totaling over N767.7 million. Adeola claimed that most of the River Basin Development Authorities have had several queries issued against them since 2003 following their alleged abandonment of projects and diversion of public funds.
chambers after rigorous scrutiny and wandered why anybody could seek an amendment after it had become law and operational. The lawmaker, while fielding questions from newsmen on the midterm activities of the Senate, further explained that so far, the upper parliament was not in receipt of any request from the House of Representatives to effect changes in the act. Enang said: “The Senate and the House passed resolutions on the state of emergency on the request of Mr. President. There were differences between what the House passed and what the Senate passed.
“Both houses set up committees and the conference committee arrived at a harmonised position. This harmonised position was adopted by the House as a result of the conference committee and adopted by the Senate as a result of its own conference committee. “That is as much as I know. Yes, I am informed that there were considerations by the House of some aspects of it. I am not yet aware of a communication of that to the Senate. “That has not yet come to the floor of the Senate. Therefore, the position that exists now is as agreed and when it is communicated,
we will consider what the other chamber considered.” Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday held a meeting with security chiefs at the Presidential Villa to review the security situation in the county. The meeting, which lasted for several hours, was attended by the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Saad Ibrahim, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Azubuike Ihejirika, Air Force Chief, Air Marshal Alex Badeh and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba. Jonathan had on May 30, met with the security chiefs to discuss the state
of emergency in the three north eastern states. After the meeting, the security chiefs declined to speak to State House Correspondents on their decision. Jonathan last Tuesday formally approved the proscription of Boko Haram and authorised the gazetting of an order declaring the group’s activities illegal. The proscription of the sect came on the heel of an announcement by the United States of America of a $7 million reward for anyone that could provide useful information that could lead to the capture of Abubakar Shekau. Shekau is the leader of the sect.
Hezbollah: Court orders SSS, IGP, AGF to produce detained suspects ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
n Abuja Federal High Court, yesterday ordered the Federal Government to produce the three Lebanese owners of Amigo Supermarket and their Nigerian associate before it on Thursday, June 13. The businessmen, who are being held over allegations of keeping illegal armoury and running Hezbollah terror cell in
Bompai, Kano State are Abdalah Tahini, Talal Rouda, Khosai Nouridine and Mustapha Fawaz The trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola specifically directed his order to the State Security Service, SSS, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, and the Attorney-General of the Federation who played one role or the other in their arrest and detention He gave the order while ruling on an ex-parte application brought by the
applicants yesterday. The ex-parte application was argued by Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, leading Ahmed Raja, SAN, and 12 others. The suspects had last week sued the three defendants, challenging their arrest and continued detention. They also faulted the closure of their business premises by security agents, even as they demanded public apology from the defendants, to be published in
three national dailies and N50billion compensation. After listening to Chief Clarke’s argument, the judge ordered as follows: “That an order is hereby made directing the respondents, particularly the 1st and 2nd respondents, to produce the applicants in court on June 13, 2013. “That it is further ordered that the applicants motion on notice dated the 3rd day of June, 2013 already served on the respondents is fixed for June 13 for hearing.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
CNPP, CPC, lawyers fault INEC order on campaigns SINA FADARE AND KENNY ODUNUKAN
ixed reactions have trailed the decision of the Independent National Elec-
toral Commission, INEC, to clampdown on politicians and political parties campaigning for 2015 elections. The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, described the development as unfortunate and a gross
violation of the people’s right while the Congress for Progressives Change, CPC, accused the commission of insincerity with the order. But two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, Prof. Itse Sagay, Mallam Yusuf Ali
and a constitutional lawyer, Mr. Fred Agbaje yesterday disagreed over the INEC’s order. Two of the lawyers, who spoke with National Mirror, endorsed INEC’s position restraining the untimely
L-R: Governors: Mr. Peter Obi (Anambra); Chief Theodore Orji (Abia); Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Ebonyi State Governor Martin Elechi, during the arrival of Sambo in Abakaliki, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Court reserves judgement in Al-Mustapha, Sofolahan’s appeal WALE IGBINTADE
he Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, yesterday reserved judgement in two separate appeals filed by Major Hamza al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, and an aide to the late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Lateef Sofolahan. Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan are challenging a death sentence handed to them by Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos High Court for masterminding the assassination of the Kudirat, the wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola. The three female appellate court justices to decide the fate of Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan are Justices Amina Adamu Augie (presiding), Rita Pemu and F. O. Akinbami. Justice Augie was drafted into the panel following the decision of Justice Ibrahim Saulawa who disqualified himself from hearing the appeal. The court reserved the appeal for judgement after the counsel to the appellants and respondents adopted their brief of ar-
guments and highlighted cogent points from their briefs. Adopting his brief of argument, lawyer to al-Mustapha, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), urged the court to allow the appeal and set aside the conviction and the death sentence of the lower court. Daudu pointed out that the prosecution called just four witnesses, adding that two of the witnesses were presumed to be star witnesses. He argued that the testimony of Banabas Jabila, a.k.a Sgt. Rogers, and Mohammed Abdul, a.k.a Katako, which the lower court based its judgement on were immaterial, having being declared as not credible by the Court of Appeal. Daudu also submitted that the lower court relied on conjectures and inferences to support the conviction of al-Mustapha, which did not form part of the evidence presented before the court. “The constitution did not support the conviction. The testimonies of PW1 (Sgt Rogers) and PW2 (Katako) are not strong enough to warrant the conviction of the appellant,” Daudu said. The Solicitor-General of Lagos State, Lawal Pedro (SAN) prayed the court to dismiss the appeal and affirm the judgement of the
lower court. He argued that aside from documentary evidence before the lower court, there was other evidence obtained from the defendants during the trial which the lower court relied on in its judgement. Shofolahan in appeal filed by his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, urged the court to allow the appeal and quash the judgement of the lower court. He said the lower court could not reprobate and approbate at the same time, stressing that the trial judge held that there were contradictions in the evidence of Sgt Rogers and Katako, but in her judgement considered the same evidence as reliable. He also argued that the trial court erred in law by relying on the evidence of Dr. Ore Falomo (the first prosecution witness), who said the bullet extracted from Kudirat’s head was a special bullet not commonly seen and that it was a fifth columnist in the government that carried out the killing following the look of the bullet. The appellants maintained that Falomo was a medical practitioner and not a ballistician and that the bullet in question was not produced as evidence in court.
He also alleged that the lower court judge exhibited bias against the appellants by rejecting the portions of the evidence of Sgt. Rogers and Katako which favoured them, but rather relying on the portions that were not favourable to them. But Pedro in his submission argued that it would be uncharitable for the appellant to accuse the trial judge of bias, pointing out that the same trial judge discharged and acquitted three other defendants’ charged along with the appellants. Pedro submitted that the trial judge also closed the case of the prosecution, yet nobody accused the judge of bias. It will be recalled that alMustapha and Sofolahan in their notices of appeal had prayed the court for stay of the execution of their sentence at the Lagos High Court pending the determination of their appeal. They had argued in their notices of appeal filed by their lawyers that the trial judge erred by arriving at the conclusion that they killed Alhaja Kudirat on June 4, 1996. While Al-Mustapha’s appeal was anchored on four grounds, that of Shofolahan was hinged on five grounds.
campaign by politicians and political parties. INEC had on Sunday warned politicians and political parties against embarking on campaign toward the 2015 general elections. Speaking through the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, the commission threatened that security agents had been called to arrest violators of the order. Idowu said such act was unhealthy for the political process and a threat to Nigeria’s democracy. He said the commission noted that campaign posters were being indiscriminately displayed. The spokesman reminded all players that the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) was still in force, stressing that “the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.” Former governor of old Kaduna State and CNPP Chairman, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said he was not surprised by the order. He described INEC as an extension of the Presidency willing to do President Goodluck Jonathan’s bidding. “There is no democracy in Nigeria. INEC is an extension of the Federal Govern-
ment, therefore, what do you expect from such a commission? So, I’m not surprised,” Musa told National Mirror yesterday. CNPP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, said that “whatever the Electoral Act says, the constitution is the supreme. “In a liberal democracy, there is no limited time for campaign for an election. INEC is trying to violate the constitution, no matter what the electoral law says. “With the President going out to functions to spell out all his achievements, is that not a campaign? Will the INEC stop Mr. President from making public statements? It is laughable. “Everyday the President is in one function or the other making several pronouncements on why Nigerians should have confidence in him. Is that not a campaign?” He said INEC should channel its energy to preparation for free and fair elections in 2015 instead of wasting time on issues that had been spelt out in the constitution. Also, the CPC National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, stated that the electoral commission was not sincere on its pronouncement. The CPC added that the Presidency was more guilty CONTINUED ON PAGE 52>>
FG uncovers 45,000 ghost workers, saves N118bn CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
my was on a sound footing, Okonjo-Iweala said that apart from achieving a single digit inflation rate, the external reserves rose from $32.08bn in May 2011 to $48.4bn in May 2013 while the Excess Crude Account, ECA, balance rose from about $4bn in May 2011 to about $9bn at the end of 2012 before it dropped to $6bn in May 2013. Okonjo-Iweala added that government was doing its best to consolidate on the achievements by creating jobs through the SUREP and other programmes The minister also said the recent gains in foreign reserves and other macroeconomic indices had positioned the country in a more steady fiscal position, thereby reducing the level of borrowings at domestic and international markets.
“In the past when we had shocks, we always rushed to the World Bank or International Monetary Fund, IMF, for money to shore up our balance of payment, but we are not going to them anymore to borrow for that purpose,” she said. While noting that the non-oil revenue has continued to improve, she however said that due to the recent waivers on some productive items, Customs collections dipped marginally but assured that a new tax regime would soon be unveiled by the government to boost revenue from taxes. Okonjo-Iweala said that tax revenues from non-oil sector due to the discontinuation of importation of rice and other products as well as some zero duties granted on equipment and other tools will boost real sector growth.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Order on terrorism’ll check ACN’s incitement –PDP OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said the Presidential Order against Terrorism was not targeted at the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, or the media but was capable of checking their incitement. The PDP also accused ACN of trying to use the press as a subterfuge to hide its support for insurgents and to whittle down the current efforts by the Federal Government to end acts of terrorism in the country. The party, which threw its weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan,
said contrary to the claims by the ACN, no part of the Presidential Order proscribing terrorist groups, directly or indirectly violated any provision of the constitution or impinged on the freedom of the press. In a statement yesterday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, described the ACN allegation that the order was aimed at gagging the press, as despicable and a clear indication of how far the opposition party could go to distort facts to support violence and cause disaffection among Nigerians. He said: “The ACN is feverish because the or-
der defined ‘support’ to include ‘incitement to commit a terrorist act through the Internet, or any electronic means or through the use of printed materials or through the dissemination of terrorist information’. “By all indications, it is clear that neither this section nor any other section of the order for that matter, infringed on the rights of Nigerians and the freedom of the media as guaranteed by the constitution. Rather the section clearly seeks to stop incitements to commit terrorist acts.” Metuh said there was no fact to suggest that the order proscribing groups engaged in acts of terror-
ism violated the constitution and aimed at stifling the press. He said: “This deliberate distortion of facts clearly betrays ACN’s support for such groups as well as the heinous attempt to whittle efforts by the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to end insurgency in the country. “For the avoidance of doubt, no section of the order stifled the press; violated or seeks to violate any provision of the constitution. Instead the order reinforced the provisions of the constitution guaranteeing the security and welfare of all Nigerians.”
FG’ll strengthen NEITI laws, says Jonathan
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Analysts put ‘buy rating’ on Access Bank JOHNSON OKANLAWON
inancial analysts have put a buy rating and target price of N15 per share from N14 per share on Access Bank based on its consolidation of Intercontinental Bank, 2012 and first quarter financial results respectively. According to equities analysts lead by Kato Mukuru at Citi Research, with an expected total return of 40 per cent and strongest potential earnings growth, the bank is the top pick of Nigerian banks. The report noted that with the bank total assets of N1.7trillion in the 2012 financial year, the bank is now Nigeria’s 5th largest bank with eight per cent asset share. On the bank’s investment strategy, the report said that at its current valuation, the
ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said his administration would seek a review of the laws setting up the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, to strengthen its watchdog operations. Jonathan made the pledge when he met with members of the board and management of NEITI led by the Chairman, Ledum Mitee, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The President said the issues of funding and gaps in synergy between NEITI and the Economic Management Team, EMT, would soon be addressed with the setting up of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team, IMTT, which would also see to the proper integration of NEITI into the economic agenda of government. He expressed delight at the detection of some potential revenue-losing sectors of the economy by NEITI and its recommendations on how to tackle oil theft. NEITI through the collaboration with relevant agencies working under the aegis of the IMTT has been able to recover $2 billion from the $9.8 billion revenue loss to the Federation Account as a result of under-payment of taxes, rents, process manipulation and poor interpretation of agreements between government and companies.
market is overly discounting the bank’s ability to build its returns to at least 21.5 per cent by 2017, from 19.1 per cent at the last financial year and grow its share of system profits to 11 per cent of total by 2017, from eight per cent of total in 2012 financial year. “We are confident in Access Bank’s ability to build its profit share because of its scope to reduce its funding costs. Among the Tier 1 banks, Access had the highest FY12 cost of funding (4.9 per cent of interest bearing liabilities) and this can be explained by its high mix of time deposits (38 per cent of total at FY12). “With a first quarter of 2013 loan-to-deposit ratio of 51 per cent, we are confident that Access Bank can gradually reduce the stock of these expensive deposits and support its margins and thus profit contributions,” the report said.
Ribadu, an ingrate –Presidency ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde (right) attending to one of the candidates of the 2013 post UTME during a complaint exercise at Bwari in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Lagos judges postpone cases for fear of shake-up –Investigation KENNY ODUNUKAN
he expected shake-out in the judiciary has been identified as the reason behind the decision of some Lagos High Court judges to adjourn new suits before them to October. Investigation showed that most of the suits are being adjourned to October ahead of the shake-up and transfer of judges in the state. A source told our correspondent that the judges opted for this tactic in order not to begin cases they might not conclude. Besides, the source said the diaries of most courtrooms had been filled till
July, which marks the end of the legal year. Judges in the country, particularly in the state, usually proceed on vacation between July and August, while only a few judges would sit to handle ex-parte applications and other urgent matters that require prompt dispensation of justice. The court calendar otherwise known as the legal year begins every September. Lawyers seeking adjournment in recent times are therefore compelled to pick dates from October to next year. It was learnt that the cases re-assigned from various courts to new judges
have also contributed to the heavy workload of judges in the criminal division of the courts. The recent re-arraignment of former Managing Director of Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank), Francis Atuche, over an alleged forgery, was one of the cases affected by the development. The case was formerly before Justice Habeeb Abiru, now of the Court of the Appeal, but has been reassigned to Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Ikeja High Court. A few days ago, the latter adjourned the case till October 8, for commencement of trial. Some oil marketers stand-
ing trial over subsidy fraud at the Ikeja High Court are also affected by the development. The Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ikeja branch, Mr. Monday Ubani, has expressed concern over the issue. Ubani, however, urged judges to make efforts to conclude suits pending regardless of whatever division they would be redeployed to. He said: “I am worried that most cases are adjourned to September. I just want to appeal to those judges to try and conclude whatever pending matters before them irrespective of whatever division they are posted to.”
he Presidency has described former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, as an ethically-challenged hypocrite and an ingrate. In a statement issued yesterday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, rejected Ribadu’s claim at a lecture in Kaduna on Saturday that Nigeria under President Goodluck Jonathan was a sinking ship in which the yearnings of the masses were being neglected by a tyrannical leadership. Abati said the claim by the presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the 2011 general elections was hypocritical and self-serving. He said: “We find it very sad and utterly deplorable that Nuhu Ribadu has resorted to shameless wolfcrying, the peddling of arrant falsehood and the denigration of the elected government of his fatherland in furtherance of his selfish quest for continued national political relevance after his wholesale rejection by Nigerian voters in 2011.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
FG gives NPA, NIMASA marching orders on port security FRANCIS EZEM
orried by the recent 90-day ultimatum by the United States Government to Nigeria to comply with the International Ships and Ports Facility Security Code or face serious international isolation, President Goodluck Jonathan has given marching orders to the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to do everything possible to ensure that the nation complies. The US Embassy in Nigeria had sent a diplomatic note to the Federal Govern-
ment through the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Nigeria to improve its ports security system in the country within 90 days or risk an international blockade whereby all vessels would be stopped from calling at the nation’s seaports. Under the blockade, the US will stop shipping services to Nigeria and also mobilise all her trading partners to do same as part of measures to compel Nigeria to comply with the enforcement of the ISPS Code. The President, who spoke on Monday, through his Senior Special Adviser on Maritime Services, Mr. Leke Oyewole, in Lagos at the ongoing two-day stakeholders’ conference on re-
viving the International Ships and Ports Facilities Security Code organised by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, warned that Nigeria cannot afford any international sanction at this time of her political and economic history. According to him, following the dissolution of the Presidential Committee on Maritime Safety, PICOMMS set up in 2004 to enable Nigeria comply with the ISPS Code, which is a security framework put in place in reaction of the World Trade Centre, New York bombing in September 2001, NIMASA has been designated to enforce the provisions of the code.
He disclosed that the decision of the government to dissolve the committee and re-designate NIMASA to takeover the job was because the President needed an agency that has good knowledge about ships and ports operations. He said: “The 90-day ultimatum is to say that henceforth, if a ship that is not ISPS complaint comes to Nigeria, such ship will not be allowed again to sail into the United States or her allies again, which portends great danger for the Nigerian economy”. This, according to him means that fewer or no ships will be allowed to sail into Nigerian waters, which in turn means that
the few ships that might come to Nigeria will hike their freight rates because Nigeria is a security risk to international shipping community, which cannot be tolerated by any responsible government. He disclosed that six weeks have passed since the ultimatum was issued, an indication that Nigeria has just 45 days for the ultimatum to expire and therefore instructed that the issue must be approached with the greatest urgency, as the ultimatum must be complied with. The President, who also frowned at the influx of all manner of people, most of who do not have any business at the ports, insisted
that the Nigerian Ports Authority must enforce strict access control at the major seaports in the country. “I have not seen any reason why NPA should put security personnel at the major entry points to the seaports, who look at faces before they determine who goes in or not. Time has come for NPA to install electronic card system at the ports to control access to un-authorised persons”, he said further. He warned that the government would no longer tolerate a system whereby people would move into the seaports even when they have no serious business to do there, insisting that the ports are security areas.
Interlocutory application stalls suit to sack PDP NWC EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
fforts by a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court to begin hearing in a suit seeking to sack the Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, and seventeen other members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) failed yesterday as an application for substitution forced the court to adjourn. Three card-carrying members of the PDP - Abba K. Yale, Yahaya Aruwa Sale and Bashir Maigudu - had approached the court for an order nullifying the election of Jaja and the 17 others, as well as declare their positions vacant. Apart from Jaja, other NWC members, who are battling to keep their jobs are: Bala Bawa Ka’oje (National Treasurer), Solomon Onwe (Deputy National Secretary), Umar Tsauri (Deputy National Auditor), Olisa Metuh (National Publicity Secretary), Bode Mustapha. Others are: Dr. (Mrs) Kema Chikwe (Wom-
K AYODE KETEFE
he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed a new charge against the Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and his personal assistant, Alade Atoyebi, on alleged offences of money
en Leader),Victor Kwon (National Legal Adviser),and Anunakar Mustapha (National Organising Secretary). The plaintiffs predicated their suit on the basis that the NWC members were not nominated and elected in accordance with the constitution and guidelines of the 1st defendant (PDP) and they should not continue to hold office. They also predicated their argument on a report said to have emanated from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in which the electoral body was claimed to have picked holes in the March, 2012, National Convention of the party, which produced the defendants. However, the matter, which was slated for hearing, could not go on because of an application for substitution brought by the party’s National Auditor, Mr. Fatai Adeyanju. Counsel to the applicant, Oluyede Ajibola, had prayed the court to substitute the name of the 3rd defendant and former Auditor, Hon. Bode Akin Mustapha, with his.
L-R: Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman; Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and Commandant, Nigeria Defence Academy, Maj.-Gen. Chukwuemeka Onwamaegbu, at the second quarter of study period of the Directorate of Army Public Relations in Kaduna, PHOTO: NAN yesterday.
CJ urges NASS to stop slashing judiciary’s budget ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI
he Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Ndahi Auta, has appealed to the National Assembly to stop further cut in the budget of the judiciary. Justice Auta said slashing the budget would impede the judiciary to carry out its planned infrastructural development. The judge spoke yester-
day at the commissioning of a Federal High Court in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital. He regretted that the continuous cut on the budget had affected the operations of court across the country. Justice Auta said: “This building and others in the pipeline would have been completed earlier than now, but for the continuous cut of the budget of the court by the National Assembly. “I want to appeal to the
National Assembly that further cut in the budget of the court be discouraged as this has obviously and negatively impacted on our ability to carry on with our proposed infrastructural and institutional development.” President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by his vice, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, called on the judiciary to abide by the ethics of their profession. He said: “We are witnessing the expansion of justice
delivery through the commissioning of this befitting complex in this city of Abakaliki. “Let me add that the judiciary is living up to the expectation of Nigerians to ensuring that there is right justice for the common man.” Earlier in his remark, Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi, commended the Federal Government for establishing the court in his state.
Money laundering: EFCC files new charge against Ikuforiji
laundering. The new charge is comprised of 56 counts of offences comprising allegations of serial mishandling of funds and money laundering in contravention of the statute. In the charge dated June 4, and signed by one Mary
Onaja, the accused were alleged to have carried out illegal act by accepting various cash payment to the tune of N673 million from the state House of Assembly without going through a financial institution. The anti-graft commission also alleged that the Speaker
used the agency of his aide, Atoyebi, to fraudulently divert funds without having recourse to financial institution as required by law. The offences were said to contravene Section 18a of the Money Laundering Act 2011. It will be recalled that the EFCC had on March
1, 2012 arraigned Ikuforiji and Atoyebi on an amended 20-count charge bordering on allegations of money laundering. The trial had started before the trial judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, retired on May 18, 2013, necessitating the transfer of the case
to the new judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba. At the proceedings yesterday, the accused lawyer told the court that his clients were absent in court and therefore could not be re-arraigned on account of non-service of the amended charge on them.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Lagos may demolish 100 buildings in swampy Ifako-Ijaiye MURITALA AYINLA
ndications have emerged that over 100 buildings located in the valley near Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government may be demolished as the Lagos State Government yesterday ordered issuance of quit notice to the residents. It was learnt that the government’s move may not have been unconnected with the picture of the aerial view of the community published in national daily at the weekend. The picture revealed the likely danger for the community and the risk it portends to lives and property. Hence, the Lagos State
Building and Control Agency (LABCA), Lagos Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government held an emergency meeting after inspecting the swampy community. They said the buildings lack approval and could no longer be allowed to occupy the place. At the meeting held behind closed doors, plan on the modality for evacuating residents and the demolition of the structures was drawn. Speaking after inspecting the community, LASEMA General Manager, Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, said the move was to avert a looming disaster. He added that the agency
would begin enumeration of the structures to know the number of residents to be affected. Oke-Osanyintolu said: “We have moved here swiftly with our stakeholders, LABCA, an agency in the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and the affected council to form an action committee in less than 24 hours, we give the state the report of the findings. By the time we finish our enumeration, we will reveal the exact numbers of the affected residents. “But what we want members of the public to know now is that they should remain calm; there is no need for panic as all relevant
stakeholders are working to avert disaster. The safety of live and property is guaranteed under the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola, but the people need to do their own bit while we are doing ours. Ours is not a show biz, but action to avert disaster.” LABCA General Manager, Mr. Abimbola Animashaun, said the buildings were never approved because the area was not meant for habitation. He said: “We are on top of our work because our zonal office is here. That place cannot be given approval in the first place, so we will do what is right to check reckless buildings.”
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N1.2bn scam: Court dismisses Fayose’s objection to counsel ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti yesterday ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has powers to hire any lawyer to prosecute its case. Justice Adamu Hobon ruled that Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) and Co. had the powers to continue the prosecution of the N1.2 billion graft case involving the former Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose. The judge said that Fayose’s counsel failed to furnish the court with evidence that only Mr. Wahab Shittu could prosecute, but the EFCC counsel was able to do same. Adamu, who consequently dismissed the preliminary objection by Fayose’s lawyers for lack of merit, adjourned further hearings on the matter till
June 24. Fayose’s lawyers, led by Ahmed Raji, had at the last sitting opposed to Jacob’s assumption of the prosecution of the case, arguing that the powers to prosecute the former governor actually rested with the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation (AGF) who had merely delegated such to EFCC. According to Raji, such powers as delegated to EFCC could not again be delegated again to another authority. However, Jacobs, at yesterday’s sitting, presented the letter given by the EFCC which was included in his 10-paragraph counter-affidavit to the preliminary objection of Fayose’s counsels He also opposed another adjournment as sought by Fayose’s lawyer through a letter he had sent to court requesting such, saying requests for adjournment had been a tactic by the former governor to delay the trial.
DDC machines: Suspects’ prosecution stalled KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
T L-R: Ogun State Deputy Governor, Prince Segun Adesegun; Governor Ibikunle Amosun; celebrant and former Deputy Governor, Chief Olusesan Soluade and his wife, Foluso, during the thanksgiving service to mark Soluade’s 80th birthday in Abeokuta, yesterday.
Recruitment: Ekiti allays teachers’ fear over mass sack ABIODUN NEJO ADO-EKITI
he Ekiti State Government has denied that it is planning to sack teachers. The government said its planned recruitment of teachers was not meant to intimidate those who fear mass sack. The state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Kehinde Ojo, said yesterday that the recruitment was to fill all the consequential vacancies in public schools. When advertisement for 1,600 vacancies by the State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) hit the airwaves last week, fears were rife that the government planned to sack majority of the teachers for participating in the strike called by the Nigeria Union of
Teachers (NUT). It will be recalled that the teachers, following the strike called by the NUT last Monday, joined their counterparts in some other states to protest nonpayment of the 27.5 per cent Peculiar Allowance. Ojo said Governor Kayode Fayemi gave approval for the filling of consequential vacancies about three weeks ago at a time there was no insight into any impending strike. He said: “I am a teacher, the deputy governor of this state, Prof Modupe Adelabu, is a teacher of note, even the chairman of TESCOM, Chief Bayo Adeniran, is a member of NUT, so who among us would work for the sack of any teacher? So, all these are lies.” The commissioner, who
said the 1,600 vacancies were billed to be filled in the proposed recruitment, asked whether the figure was enough to displace the 18,000 teachers’ workforce in the state. Ojo said with the intent of ending the ongoing teachers’ strike, the state government had declared
he governments of Oyo and Ekiti states have declared tomorrow, June 12, 2013, as public holiday. In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, the government declared the public holiday to mark the anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election
its intention to pay 15 per cent teachers’ professional allowance out of the 27.5 per cent requested. He said: “The teachers, being represented by NUT, have seen reasons with the government that it cannot use a sum of N170 million monthly to pay the 27.5 per cent peculiar allowance.
he trial of four accused persons in a two-count charge of conspiracy and unlawful revision of voters’ register by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oyo State yesterday suffered a setback at an Ibadan High Court due to non-presentation of a data analysis report. The report was to serve as evidence in the trial. The accused, Osunlola Akinyinka, Olufemi Samuel, Dauda Oladeji and Salami Adetola, were arrested on March 19, 2011, in a hotel at Bodija, Ibadan, following a tip-off. At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, counsel to the defendants, Mr. Rotimi Alli, said the report of the investigation would help in establishing whether the six Direct Data Caption (DDC)
Oyo, Ekiti declare June 12 public holiday believed to be the freest and fairest election in the history of Nigeria. The election was believed to have been won by the late businessman, Chief M.K.O Abiola. The government said the anniversary was also in recognition and honour of the martyrdom of Chief Abiola, who laid down his life for Nigerians to enjoy the democratic dividends of today.
Also, a statement by the Ekiti State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo, said Governor Kayode Fayemi would lead top government functionaries to the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti for a forum organised to remember heroes and heroines of democracy who paid major roles during the struggle to restore democracy in Nigeria.
machines belonging to INEC were tampered with or not. He said: “This matter is for defence. We want to have report on police investigation on the INEC’s six DDC machines said to have been recovered from my clients. This will enable us to move forward in this case. We requested for the outcome of the report of investigation on the data machine. If they are saying a machine has been tampered with, we have to get the result of the examination. “As we are talking, we have a copy, but it is not certified. We will, therefore, call for an adjournment for the court to issue a subpoena on the police to tender the certified-true-copy.” But counsel to INEC, Mr. Shuaib Alanra, objected, saying: “I don’t want to go into whether the machine was tampered with or not. INEC confirmed to me that they do not have a certified true copy of outcome of the investigation. For me, they should have applied to have the document from the police if they considered it expedient in the first place. But since they did not, it should not stall the hearing of this case”. Mr. Omoniyi Fayanju, the INEC Chief Legal Officer, who represented the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Nasiru Ayilara, told the court that the defendants’ counsel should have written the police to obtain the document.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Doctor, others mutilate 13-month-old baby’s corpse FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he police in Ogun State yesterday said they had arrested a medical doctor and three others suspected to be ‘ritualists’ for mutilating the corpse of a 13-month-old baby in a hospital at Sango-Ota in Ado-Odo/ Ota Local Government. The suspects, Oguntunde Opeyemi, Olaide Adeyanju and Temitope Muraina, were said to have connived with the owner of Ajike Medical Centre situated at Adeyeni Street, Dr. Babawale Funsho Joshua, to mutilate
•67-year-old guard hangs self in Abeokuta the corpse of the boy, Kingsley Ole, who died in the hospital last Saturday. Kingsley’s father, Mr. Obinna Ole, said his son had been on admission at the hospital for an ailment before he eventually died on June 8 about 7: 30pm. The story, however, changed when Ole went to claim the corpse of his baby as he discovered that the two eyes, tongue, lips, ears, the penis, nails and the left handvein of the boy had been removed. Briefing newsmen on the
incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the policemen attached to Ota Divisional headquarters led by the DPO, Gabriel Dibie, arrested the suspects. Adejobi disclosed that the corpse had been deposited at the Ifo General Hospital for autopsy, while the state Commissioner of Police, Ikhemefuna Okoye, had ordered the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Eleweran, to take over the case.
Meanwhile, a 67-year-old guard reportedly hanged himself at Ago-Ika community in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. The deceased, who was identified as Mathew Isidahume, was said to be one of the night guards employed to keep watch over the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in the metropolis before his death. It was gathered that members of the church, who had converged on the church for a prayer session in the morning, discovered the body of
the deceased dangling where he had allegedly hanged himself. A member of the Church Council, Adekunle Adegoke, who confirmed that the deceased was the church’s night guard, told journalists that those who came for the prayer session met the gate locked and waited for about 30 minutes thinking the late Isidahume had gone to the toilet. Adegoke said when there was still no trace of the guard, the people decided to push a young boy across the fence. According to him, the boy
PDP raps ACN for ‘supporting’ Boko Haram
NGF crisis: Mimiko’s role embarrassing –CPC chieftain OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE
ndo State governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Prince Soji Ehinlanwo, yesterday described Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s role in the leadership crisis rocking the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, as “utterly embarrassing and disappointing”. Ehinlanwo urged Mimiko to consider at all times the implication of the position he takes both for himself and for the people of Ondo State. The CPC candidate in the October 20, 2012 governorship election said in a statement that the rejection of the Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi as the NGF chairman by Governor Jonah Jang’s group because he was not the preferred candidate of the Presidency showed a grave danger for the country’s democracy. He said: “We are hugely embarrassed by the disgraceful role played by the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, in this unfortunate saga. “Before and after the governorship election in Ondo State, it had become clear to many that Mimiko had chosen largely to subjugate himself and his Labour Party to the whims and caprices of the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Undoubtedly, his Labour Party is now effectively PDP except in name. “This is largely borne out of a shameless quest to draw support and affirmation for the discredited election in which he was declared winner and consequently his desperate attempt to continue to cling to power and relevance. “His decision therefore to stand the truth on its head
and rationalise that the governor who clearly lost is the one entitled to assume the leadership of the NGF and be so recognised, must be seen clearly from the context of this desperate disposition.” Ehinlanwo said Mimiko’s defence of his position was quite weak and appalling, adding that his attempt to discredit the video which recorded part of the proceedings including the counting simply because it did not show him voting was egoistic and futile. He said: “In a state where our people have been known to speak vociferously in favour of strong democratic values and have resisted attempts to foist upon them unpopular governments, the latest of which is the support for the challenge at the courts of the October election, the position taken by the governor on the NGF and the arguments which he has canvassed in favour of this are truly embarrassing, deeply disappointing and one more indication of how deep this government has sunk morally in its desperate bid to continue to access power and cling to it.
HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
T L-R: Chairman, National Forum of Heads of Federal Government Establishments, Mrs. Felicia Oyeleke; Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola; General Secretary of the forum, Mr. Jide Asagodogbo and Vice-Chairman, Mufutau Adedeji, during the presentation of Award as Grand Patron of the establishments to the governor in Osogbo.
Man rapes 15-yr-old girl in Osogbo ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
middle-aged man, Moyinoluwa Tosin, has been remanded in Ilesha Prison by an Osogbo Magistrate’s Court for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl, Tope Adeniyi, at Egbatedo area of Osogbo, the Osun State capital. The trial magistrate, Mr. Olusola Aluko, who ruled that the accused be remanded in prison custo-
dy, adjourned the case till June 20 for mention after listening to the account of the police prosecutor, Mr. Solomon Oladele, and that of the accused defence counsel, Mr Daniel Agbara. Oladele told the court that “the accused person and others who were now at large conspired among themselves and abducted the 15-year-old girl,” adding that Moyinoluwa allegedly had carnal knowledge of her at Egbatedo area of
Osun, UNIDO plan uninterrupted power supply ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
overnor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration has promised to work round the clock to give the people of Osun State an uninterrupted power supply to make life more worth living. To ensure this, the government, in conjunction with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, has procured two 35KW turbines to be installed at Ikeji-Ile hill top in Oriade Local Government.
later returned with the sad news that Isidahume had hanged himself. The church elder described the circumstances that lead to the incident as complex and said that it was only experts that could determine what transpired. He said: “Really if you see him, the first thought will be that there is a sort of complex issue, probably there is foul play. But looking closely, you will see his footprints on the generator which showed that he climbed, tied something on his neck and then jumped.”
The Chairman, Hydro Power Electricity Generating Company for UNIDO, Atilade Oshoniyi (an engineer), who made this known while delivering the turbines to the people of the town yesterday, said the Aregbesola administration had concluded plans to stabilise power supply in the state. Oshoniyi disclosed that the two turbines would be installed at the natural water flow from Ikeji-Ile hill top to check erratic power supply being experienced in parts of the state. He said: “The project
which is jointly financed by Osun State Government and UNIDO will create 24 hours electricity supply for the communities connected to the mini-hydro-power generation from the turbines.” “UNIDO has researched into the natural velocity of water flow from the Ikeji-Ile hill top and observed that it has more than enough water to power 70kilowatt output being planned for the area. “I want to assure you that any moment from now, our team of experts will swing into action for the installation of the turbines.
Osogbo. He said the offences committed by the accused were contrary to and punishable under sections 516, 362, 221 and 360 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34 Vol. 11 laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2003. Though the accused, who pleaded not guilty to all the charges, admitted to have had a sexual intercourse with the 15-year-old girl but explained that she was his girlfriend who had slept in his house times without number. “Governor Rauf Aregbesola is passionate about the completion of the project in good time for the use of the people of the state as this will assist artisans and trading hub such as tailors, welders and others that require constant electricity to perform and export their end products.” Speaking after receiving the turbines, the Arakeji of Ikeji-Ile, Oba Adebayo Ogunmokun and the traditional ruler of Ira-Ikeji, Oba Oluropo Fatanmi, commended Aregbesola for responding positively to the problems of the people of the area.
he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday condemned the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, for kicking against steps taken by President Goodluck Jonathan to check killings by Boko Haram. The Ondo State PDP Director of Publicity, Ayo Fadaka, said in a statement that ACN was the only party that condemned the action of the government to put an end to the activities of the sect in the North. Fadaka noted that Boko members were determined to make the country ungovernable for Jonathan by unleashing mayhem on the citizenry. He said: “The activities of terrorist groups represent a grave challenge to the corporate existence of the nation and its only goal is to systematically pursue a programme that would have completely led to its disintegration.” The PDP spokesman pointed out that the President explored all the available avenues to curtail the activities of Boko Haram. He said: “President Goodluck Jonathan certainly did explore all available avenues to make Boko Haram and its accomplices to embrace peace and even conditionally disarm its membership and this was rebuffed continuously. “It was when it became almost impossible to call them to order that the Federal Government finally declared a state of emergency in the prime theatres of their action and even when that happened the ACN was the only party that condemned the action of government as if the programme of these anti-system groups is synonymous with its goals.”
CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
t was a shocking discovery at the Umuoma Autonomous Community in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State at the weekend when indigenes uncovered an undetonated bomb buried in a family compound since the civil war years. The bomb, suspected
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Family uncovers undetonated civil war bomb
to have been laid during the civil war, was buried deep in the soil in one Igbokwe’s compound at Ukwo-Umuoma. A police source told National Mirror that the bomb was uncovered after several days of rainfall that washed away the top soil, exposing the edge of the bomb suspect-
ed to have been buried for over 40 years. It was not clear whether the bomb was laid by the Nigerian troops or their Biafran counterparts, but a source said the area was the base of Biafran troops when Owerri sector fell to Federal troops during the war. Some children were playing in the compound
after the rain when one of them observed “a strange object” buried in the soil with a part of it revealed, one of the villagers told our correspondent. According to the source; “The people in the compound did not know that they have been living with a destructive weapon for over 40
years.” It was learnt that on discovery, the people raised the alarm which attracted passers-by who on close examination suspected it to be an explosive, before they reported the matter at a nearby police station. A police source said that the Anti-Bomb Squad
of State Police Command was contacted to detonate the bomb. “The police bomb experts detonated the bomb at a nearby bush,” the police source said. When the state Police Public Relations Officer, Joy Elemoko, was contacted, she confirmed the incident.
Lawmaker arraigned for alleged perjury, forgery
I’m ready to serve Imo again, says Agbaso
CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
member representing Umunneochi state constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Ikedi Ezekwesiri, has been arraigned before an Umuahia Magistrate’s Court for alleged perjury. Ezekwesiri was arraigned on a five-count charge of impersonation, forgery and false information. The lawmaker was alleged to have on January 31, 2011 in the INEC Form CF 001 preparatory to the election into the state House of Assembly falsely declared to be a legal practitioner, an offence punishable under Section 192 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. He was also alleged to have on the same date in a judicial proceeding in the high court registry before the Commissioner for Oaths given false testimony contrary to Section 117 and punishable under Section 118 of the Criminal Code Cap. C 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The prosecution said that the false testimony was to enable him contest for the state assembly election. Ezekwesiri was alleged to have fraudulently altered and mutilated the INEC Form CF 001 during investigation by the Nigeria Police by inserting the word ‘business man’ instead of ‘legal practitioner’ as earlier professed and presented same to the police. The prosecution said the act was contrary to Section 468 of the Criminal Code and punishable under Section 465 of the Criminal Code Cap. C. 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Students from participating schools at the Enugu State School Sports Festival marching during the opening ceremony of the festival in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Unclaimed ASUBEB salaries discovered in bank GEORGE OPARA ABIA
bia State Judicial Commission of Inquiry sitting in Umuahia High Court Six, has discovered huge sums of money declared as unclaimed salaries in Ecobank by some secondary school principals reported to be on the orders of the Abia State Universal Basic Education Board, ASUBEB. The inability of the board’s Account Reconciliation Officer, Mr. Friday Anyim, to answer questions on the said account did not help matters even as reports said the unclaimed salaries deposited in the bank appeared
suspicious and suggestively fraudulent. The commission has ordered for the three zonal education directors of finance, who were said to know much about the questionable account to appear before it today, June 11. Anyim, who was summoned to present all relevant bank documents of the JSS account with Ecobank from 2008 to 2012 admitted to the commission last Friday that the board maintained such an account, but that the account became dormant at the end of 2012 when the management of Junior Secondary Schools, JSS, in the state was transferred from ASUBEB to the Secondary
Education Management Board, SEMB. Anyim added that a new but functional ASUBEB JSS account was later opened with Intercontinental Bank. Asked why the board was still operating the Ecobank account even when it was declared dormant since 2012, the account officer said it was being used to lodge in unclaimed salaries as directed by ASUBEB management to principals of public secondary schools in the state. But there was a twist in the matter when Anyim could not explain some questions arising from the said unclaimed salaries. He could not even explain how the unclaimed salaries came about
and why some teaching staff could not claim their salaries and under what conditions, who made withdrawals and for what purpose. Anyim, however, said ASUBEB cash office only gives receipts to principals who pay such unclaimed salaries into the controversial account on the presentation of deposit tellers. When asked further, he declined comment and denied knowledge of the names of the school principals who he said deposited such unclaimed salaries but said the three zonal education directors of finance knew the names of the principals who deposited the said unclaimed salaries.
Community cries out against Fulani herdsmen’s activities GEORGE OPARA ABIA
kanu Ohafia people in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State have sent a ‘Save Our Soul’ message to the state governor, Theodore Orji, over what they called the invasion and destruction of their farmland by Fulani herdsmen. The community also sent the same message to the state House of Assembly, saying
that they needed urgent intervention in the crisis before it escalates to unimaginable level that could threaten the peace of the community and the state at large. The community described the threat of the herdsmen as a “perennial, calculated and deliberate provocative activity to impoverish and finally exterminate our people.” They alleged that some Fulani herdsmen had late last month “attacked and nearly killed the Chairman
of Akanu-Ukwu Ohafia vigilance group, Chief Thomas Onuegbe Uka.” Yesterday, hundreds of them stormed the Government House and the House of Assembly with various placards, urging the lawmakers and government officials to intervene and stop the herdsmen from further destroying their crops. Some of the placards read; “Stop destroying our land”; “Our farming is our life”; “Cattle frightening women
in the farm”; “Cattle grazers killing farmers,” among others while the women among them carried sticks of cassava to the protest ground. In a protest letter presented to the government and the House of Assembly, the community enumerated the losses they have incurred on account of the activities of the herdsmen. They called on Governor Orji to wade into the matter and resolve it before the matter escalates.
ormer Imo State Deputy Governor, Sir Jude Agbaso, yesterday restated his readiness to serve the people of the state in any capacity. His desire to serve his people was, however, punctured yesterday when his case before an Owerri High Court where he is contesting his impeachment suffered a setback as the court adjourned hearing on the substantive suit till July 19, 2013. The former deputy governor was seeking a stay of execution by the state House of Assembly from impeaching him after he was indicted in an alleged complicity in a N450million failed road contract deal between him and IPROS International. However, Agbaso yesterday told journalists in his country home in Emekuku, Owerri North Council Area of Imo State, that he’s willing to serve the state again if given the opportunity. According to him; “If given the opportunity in the future, I will gladly serve my state. It is saddening that when you serve in good faith, people pay you in a bad way. But the people know better.” The former deputy governor also stated that he will continue to challenge his impeachment in court to further exonerate his family’s name, adding that justice will prevail at the end. “I will not withdraw my actions in court because I know that the way the judiciary is structured, we will get justice at last, especially now that more facts about my controversial impeachment have been unearthed,” he vowed. Agbaso, who debunked a statement credited to Governor Rochas Okorocha that he received N50 million monthly as security vote.
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013
‘Those behind PDP crisis do not mean well for Jonathan’ serving lawmaker, Senator Magnus Abe, representing the South-East Senatorial District of Rivers State in the National Assembly, yesterday said those behind the current crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, do not mean well for President Goodluck Jonathan. This was just as he said that the current impasse within the Rivers State chapter of the party is alien to the culture of the party. Senator Abe spoke yesterday in an interactive session with journalists after a brief ceremony in which he made donations of recording and working tools to journalists from his senatorial district. He said those who are working against peace in the PDP are those that do not mean well for the President and hence, they are not his friends. He, however, warned that the Ogonis in Rivers State will ensure the implementation of the UNEP report either peacefully or otherwise. According to the former Secretary to State Government in the state, the PDP has always been a big party with big problems, but that despite its peculiar challenges, there had always been a way of sorting out issues and prob-
lems within the party. He, however, condemned the crisis in the party, saying that things are not being handled the PDP way. He advised that people, no matter how highly placed, should not try to take away everybody’s rights, warning that it would not work. “Those who are working against peace in the PDP do not mean well for President Goodluck Jonathan. PDP has always being a big party with big problems, but things have always been handled the PDP way. But what is going on now is not the PDP way. Nobody can just sit down and take away the rights of everybody, it can’t work.” he warned. “The PDP way is not through violence or people employing militants to go and protest on the streets, with policemen escorting them to and fro the protest venue. These are the same militants that are killing policemen all over the place. Now the policemen are now escorting them to do their dirty work, while they are offering policemen snacks for their efforts.” On the solution to the lingering crisis in the party, Abe said party members should close ranks and employ peculiar party tactics to resolve the current face-off between factions and groups within the party, in order to bring about lasting peace.
members of the legislature in the state, it becomes imperative for us to come and show our support and encourage you and also to tell you that what you are fighting for is justice. If you were not fighting for justice, we would not come and democracy can succeed without justice. We discover that God is with you and whoever God is with is in a majority. “You went into an election, a competitive one for the second tenure and graciously you won 19 votes to 16. That shows that you are a leader. These are serious achievements. These things happen. There may be betrayals here and there, left and right. “Sometimes, you may even feel that you are alone, but you are not alone, so you continue to go forward, continue to bring your people together, these are the test of leadership and you will succeed. “When you succeed, people will know that you are a
born leader. We want your success. We want an Assembly that will have a conducive environment devoid of internal and external distractions to make good laws for the state.” The ex-lawmakers also congratulated Amaechi on his re-election as the chairman in the recent Nigeria Governors’ Forum election while also assuring him that progressive-minded people of Rivers State are behind him in his challenges. In his address, Governor Amaechi thanked the former lawmakers for speaking on behalf of the people of the state and supporting his administration, while also assuring that he would not be distracted since his focus is to serve the people. “Let me thank you for coming out to speak on behalf of the Rivers people and to stand by the government that the Rivers people have elected. Our responsibility is to deliver service to our people which you represent”.
L-R: Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Mr. Maxi Alex Otti, Sir Emem Akpabio, his wife, Christy; Mr Dubem Obazi; Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio; celebrant and governor’s wife, Unoma; Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Mr Umana O. Umana and his wife, Florence, during her 42nd birthday celebration.
Fear grips NDDC board members as tenure expires soon
SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI
he board and management of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, have been gripped by fear as their tenure expires on August 6. Already, intensive lobby by the members of the outgoing board and management had begun for re-appointment, especially at the highest level, the Presidency. Similarly, it was learnt that those plotting to unseat them in the new regime were mounting pressures on the Presidency for consideration for the plum jobs. The outgoing management and board of the commission were reconstituted in November 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan,
following the dissolution of the erstwhile team headed by Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha, on September 13, 2011. The Ugwoha-led governing board was sacked by Presdent Jonathan on account of wrangling by its members. Although, the appointment was subject to renewal by the President, the present team was mandated to complete the four-year tenure of the Ugwoha-led management, which expires on August 6. The outgoing governing board is made up of Dr. Tarilah Tebepah, Chairman; Christian Oboh, Managing Director; Lambert Konboye, Executive Director, Finance and Administration, EDFA; Edikan Eshett Eshett, Executive Director Projects, EDP;
Edward Orubo, member; Dr. Ibiamuno M. Aminigo, member and Solomon Ogba, member. Others include Imaobong Johnson, member; Peter C. Ezeobi, member; Dominic Aqua Edem, member; Alloysius Nwagboso, member; Omogbemi O. Oladele, member and Osahon Imaru, member. Senator Garba Yakubu Lado was nominated to represent the North-West, Rima Shawulu Kwewum, NorthEast and Senator Tunde Ogbeha North-Central, being representatives from non-oil producing areas. The Managing Director of the commission, Dr. Christian Oboh, who was nominated by Rivers State governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who is currently es-
Sacked Bayelsa teachers in showdown with SUBEB EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
t least 300 sacked teachers in Bayelsa State are currently in a showdown with the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, over their dismissal by the board. Investigation by National Mirror revealed that the aggrieved teachers were employed by the former SUBEB management when Timipre Sylva was the governor of the state. Trouble started shortly after the inauguration of a new board appointed by Governor Seriake Dickson, when its Executive Secretary,
Walton Liverpool, claimed the employment procedure of the teachers did not follow due process. It was learnt that Liverpool stopped their salaries on assumption of duty as the executive secretary of the board. In a statement signed by the aggrieved teachers, they said Liverpool had requested that their employment be reviewed and verified after directing their principals to stop their salaries. According to the teachers, they had earlier passed through series of verifications conducted by the board. The statement reads in
part: “The team recommended that we should be retained as teachers in the state while more teachers of science background are to be employed. The governor adopted the recommendations and approved that our salaries be paid. “However, Liverpool sat on the directive, but after dilly-dallying; he issued fresh employment letters to us and placed us on three months’ probation. To our utmost surprise, the same Liverpool came on air to announce our suspension from work after working for three months. He claimed that our reengagement was done in error,” he said.
tranged with Jonathan. It was not clear if the Presidency was disposed to reappointing Oboh because of his relationship with the embattled chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF. Investigation showed that the Presidency was uncomfortable that Oboh was maintaining his loyalty to Amaechi despite the frosty relationship between the governor and the President.
Ex-lawmakers laud Amaechi’s stance on justice SAM OLUWALANA
ivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has been described by some former lawmakers in the state as a born leader, fighting for justice for the people of the state. The forum of former members of the Rivers State House of Assembly between 1979 and 2011 also expressed their support for Amaechi in his current travails and predicted his victory in the end. According to the ex-lawmakers, who spoke when their delegation, led by former Speaker, Hon. Stephen Ezekwem, paid a solidarity visit to Governor Amaechi at the Government House, Port Harcourt, over the weekend, said democracy would only succeed when there is justice. They said: “Your Excellency, our solidarity visit is in view of what is happening in the country and as former
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
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Military lost 21 people to Jaji blasts –AFCS commandant A ZA MSUE KADUNA
ight months after the bomb attack on Jaji Military Cantonment, Commandant of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, AFCS, AVM Eko Effiom Osim, yesterday said the
military lost 21 persons, including officers, men and children in the incident. Osim said this when he received members of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, during their oversight visit to the college in Jaji, Kaduna State. The commandant said
about 48 other victims of the bomb attack were still receiving treatment at the expense of the college, adding that based on the sad incident; the military saw the need to relocate the communities around the cantonment. He said nature of the communities would make
it possible for all kinds of people to infiltrate the cantonment. Osim added that even though efforts were on to relocate the communities by the Kaduna State Government, AFCS had taken measures to engage leaders of the communities with a view to ensuring se-
curity of the military base. He said some of the community leaders were now on the payroll of the college and had been assisting in ensuring the security of the Jaji community. Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Hon. Bashir Adamu Kazaure,
said they were at Jaji to monitor the implementation of the budget of the college for 2012 and the first quarter of 2013. Last year coordinated suicide bomb explosions rocked St. Andrew Military Protestant Church in thee cantonment and killed many people.
Check PDP drift, lawmaker urges Jonathan WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
he Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to check the drift in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, caused by suspensions being slammed on selected members. Mohammed, who is representing Baruten/Kaima Federal Constituency, made the call while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin yesterday. He said the President, as the leader of PDP, had the duty to rescue it from some interest which appeared to have hijacked the party. The lawmaker implored Jonathan to do a personal inner reflection and cause the PDP leadership to fashion a method in line with the party’s constitution to discipline erring members instead of doing so in a way that could bring disaffection. Mohammed also denied media reports that there was feud between the Kwara State chapter of
PDP and the Presidency. Reports had said that the structure of the party was going to be taken over by the Presidency and handed over to Prof. Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem. Abdulrahemm, former vice-chancellor of the University of Ilorin and now chairman of the Federal Character Commission, was reported to be working in tandem with the Presidency to dislodge the party in the state. But Mohammed said the reports were mere rumours being peddled by the opposition parties bent on wresting power from PDP in the state. Former Kwara State governor now representing the Northern Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Shaaba Lafiagi, had at a press conference on Sunday denied the rumour. He was supported by selected chieftains of the party. Abdulraheem was reported to have concluded arrangement with the Presidency to hijack the party structure from Senator Bukola Saraki because of an alleged feud between the state and the Presidency.
Plateau trains 37,767 teachers –SUBEB JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
he Chairperson of the Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Mrs. Lyop Mang, yesterday said the board had trained 37,767 teachers in the last five years. Mang, who spoke with journalists in Jos, the state capital, said the measure was aimed at improving the quality of teachers to provide quality education at the grassroots. The SUBEB chairperson explained that last year, more than 5,066 teachers were trained while 7,650 others received training this
year with funds from the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC. She said: “Last year, we trained about 5,066 teachers and this year, 7,650 were trained with funds from UBEC, but with the counterpart fund from 2008 to date, 37,767 teachers had so far been trained.” Mang added that apart from the funds from UBEC, Plateau State, alongside Kaduna and Niger states, had keyed into the Japanese science project called: ‘Strengthening of Mathematics Science Education in Nigeria, SMASE.’ She said: “Under this programme, more than 17,000 teachers were also trained
Member, Board of Trustees of Sardauna Memorial Foundation, Alhaji Asheihk Karma (right), presenting relief materials to Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, for victims of Baga crisis in Maiduguri, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
300 NIMC staff hold forged certificates –DG ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
he Director-General of the National Management Identity Commission, NIMC, Chris Onyemenam, yesterday disclosed that a large chunk of the commission’s staff secured employment with forged certificates. Onyemenam, who made the disclosure to the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission, ICPC, during a courtesy visit, vowed that many
with the aim of enhancing the ability of primary school teachers to conduct student-centred lessons in Mathematics and other science subjects. “Plateau State is leading other states in this programme, as the 17,000 trained teachers and members of staff from this board are being used as resource persons in other states that are just keying into the programme. “We are moving into the school-based training where teachers are trained in smaller groups who would then train other teachers in their various schools, because we discovered that mass training of teachers was no longer effective.”
people would be sacked. The affected staff who allegedly secured employment with fake certificates, according to the DG, are about 300. He said apart from losing their jobs, the law would also take its course as they would all be prosecuted. Onyemenam explained that the management had directed staff to submit their credentials for verification at the Federal Ministry of Education, but the commission was surprised to find out that some of
them were not genuine. He said: “It was in the process of documenting them, because they were now to be employed as fulltime senior members of staff. Out of 600 people that submitted, about 280 to 300 were not cleared.” The DG maintained that the exercise became necessary because of the desire of the management to have quality staff and to ensure that whatever they do conform to the international best practice. On the fate of the affected staff who submitted
fake certificates, Onyemenam said: “What is it? It is a criminal offence and the law will take its course.” He also requested the permission of the ICPC chairman to establish enrolment centres in all offices of the anti-graft body across the country. Responding, the ICPC Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta, said the new trend of identity theft was spreading fast, particularly among the youths, adding that there was need for strong collaboration between the two agencies to stem it.
Court bars NJC from probing ex-Abuja CJ, Gummi ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday barred the National Judicial Council, NJC, from going ahead with the probe of former Chief Judge, CJ, of Abuja High Court, Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi. The court, presided over by Justice Adamu Bello, said parties in the suit must maintain status quo pending the determination of the suit filed by Gummi challenging the legality of his probe. Gummi was accused of
abusing the powers of his office in respect of a suit while he was the CJ of Abuja High Court. The NJC, which queried Gummi over his role in the matter, subsequently established a prima facie case against him and set up a panel to investigate him. Gummi had approached the court to stop NJC from probing him on the grounds that he was no longer a judicial officer over whom it could exercise its powers. But NJC ignored the former CJ and the suit by asking the panel to go ahead and probe him. The panel had already
summoned Gummi to appear before it. Gummi orally complained against the stance of NJC in the case yesterday, wondering what had gone wrong with the principle of lis pendens. Bello then warned that he would not hesitate to void any action taken by NJC after both parties had surrendered to the jurisdiction of the court. He said: “I remind parties in this suit to respect the principles of lis pendens, as the court has powers to reverse and quash any decision taken during the pendency of the case.”
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We’re not lamenting because we are coming up in Gombe –Dakwambo
Senate: Tortuous journey to a new constitution
More troubles for PDP FELIX NWANERI writes on the plot by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to pave way for a Goodluck Jonathan sole candidacy on the platform of the party in the 2015 presidential election.
here seems no end in sight to the internal strife rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the fresh plot to grant automatic tickets to President Goodluck Jonathan and serving governors of the party for the 2015 elections is threatening to further polarise the ruling party. Hinged on the Right of First Refusal, the plan if actualised, will lead to an affirmation of Jonathan’s candidature at the PDP national convention in 2014 in line with practices in other presidential system of governments like the United States. The chairman of PDP Board of Trustees, BoT, Chief Tony Anenih, who canvassed the option penultimate week at a dinner organised by the President for the “PDP family,” argued that it will put an end to the wrangling that usually characterise the party’s primaries, especially for executive positions. His words: “We need a strong party. If a party is strong and there is discipline and those who work hard are rewarded, our government will be stronger. Our problems are not insurmountable. After the tour of the Board of Trustees, we will collate the opinions and make appropriate recommendations to the President as leader of the party. But what I would like to say is that the President and governors who are seeking their second term should be given automatic tickets. “I do not see anything wrong if the PDP considers automatic tickets for the President and its governors who have performed well and are seeking for a second term. It is my view that with the outstanding performance of President Jonathan in the areas of power, rail and water transportation, road construction, aviation reforms, education, agriculture, job creation, etc., the party should not find it difficult in granting him the opportunity to serve a second term, if he so desires.” He also suggested the extension of the gesture to performing members of the National Assembly, even though their tenure or number of terms they can enjoy is not circumscribed by the constitution.
Timely dummy Expectedly, Anenih’s proposal has stirred reactions even beyond the PDP, probably because of his position as BoT
TOP STORY I DO NOT SEE ANYTHING WRONG IF THE
AUTOMATIC TICKETS FOR THE
AND ITS GOVERNORS
Provisions of the law
WHO HAVE PERFORMED WELL chairman, but it would be recalled that elder statesman and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, earlier gave a lead to the plot in a letter he wrote to the Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu in March this year. Clark stated then that the practice in most presidential system of governments is that “an incumbent president remains the sole candidate of his political party at the party’s convention, if he or she is willing to contest for a second term in office.” He was reacting to Aliyu’s insistence that Jonathan respects an alleged pact he entered into with the PDP governors at the eve of the 2011 elections to serve only a single term. It is against this backdrop that many are of the view that the sole candidacy plot is aimed at stopping members of the party interested in the 2015 presidency despite the fact that Chapter 2, Part X (5) of the PDP Constitution 2012 (as amended) states that: “The National Convention shall have and exercise authority to elect the presidential candidate of the party.” The President has not declared interest to run for a second term, but his party has been divided into pro and anti-Jonathan camps, prompting analysts to conclude
the ruling party from the implosion that usually characterise its primaries as well as counter the threat of opposition parties, which are uniting under the All Progressives Congress (APC). The PDP, which prides itself as the largest political party in Africa has won the last four successive presidential elections, but it usually gets polarised close to general elections, especially over its presidential flag bearers. Senator Margery Chuba-Okadigbo (PDP Anambra North), who described Anenih’s proposal as a welcome development, though relative, said: “Obviously, there is a caveat in that proposal – it is for those performing, that’s relative. Legislators in particular don’t have a time limit because you want to make sure the little they’ve learnt they improve upon. “In the Senate, as a new member, you need more time to settle down and observe before you learn the ropes. It’s not a matter of how smart or how quick or knowledgeable you are.” She further explained that Anenih simply considered the realities on ground, because the lack of continuity in the process of governance has robbed Nigeria of so many benefits, especially in the area of sustainable development.
that the PDP is in for a replay of the intrigues that have characterised its presidential primaries since 2003. It would be recalled that the PDP had before now maintained that President Jonathan and the governors will not have the Right of First Refusal for the 2015 election. The party’s party spokesman, Olisa Metuh, who made the clarification in April, said: “The truth is that NEC (the National executive Committee) cannot seek such amendment. It is above the powers of NEC.” He added: “Nobody in the executive, nobody in the party has ever told me about the amendment on the right of first refusal. I have also not heard it from anybody. So, I have never heard, it has never been discussed. As far as PDP constitution is concerned, there will be primaries for all those who want to contest for elective offices in 2015.”
Justification While it is the constitutional right of members of any political party to aspire for any elective position if they are qualified, advocates of automatic ticket for the President are of the view that it will help reduce distractions. They also pointed out that it will save
Besides the PDP Constitution, the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), in section 87 gave a very detailed procedure for the nomination of candidates by political parties. Section 87(1) provides that “A political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Act shall hold primaries for aspirants to all elective positions.” Sub section 2 provides as follows: “The procedure for the nomination of the candidate by political parties for the various elective position shall be by direct or indirect primaries. A political party that adopts the direct primaries procedure shall ensure that all aspirants are given equal opportunity of being voted for by members of the party. “However, where a political party decides to adopt the indirect primaries for the choice of its candidates, it shall adopt the procedures outlined in section 87 (4). The procedures are as follows: Where a political party wishes to nominate a candidate for the position of president, the party shall hold special presidential conventions in the Federal Capital Territory, or any other place within the federation that is agreed by the National Executive Committee of the party where delegates shall vote for each of the aspirants at designated centre. “The aspirant with the highest number CONTINUED ON PAGE 41
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
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We’re not lamenting because we are After a successful career in the civil service that culminated as the Accountant General of the Federation, Ibrahim Dankwabo made a foray into politics and got elected as governor of Gombe State in 2011 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Two years in the saddle, the governor in this interview with journalists relieves his experience, governance in Gombe and other issues. Excerpts: How would you describe your experience in the past two years? Well, you have gone round and seen that we are coming from a state that was nowhere in the last 16 years and the state that receives one of the least funds from the Federation Account, without even facilities that can generate revenue. What is different in some other states is that facilities are there that can be used to tighten the control and generate revenue. I don’t need to build Victoria Island again. I don’t need to build Ikoyi again. The houses are there because the government built them. So, anytime I wake up and impose all sorts of taxes, they don’t have choices, they have to pay and that is just it, tell them to pay and they pay. I don’t have such leverage of facilities in this place. I cannot charge for even water unlike in some other places where water is already provided, dams have been built, water has been piped, all I need to do is take control around revenue collections. But here in Gombe, I don’t even have the water. So, how can I charge water rate? Also there are some things that work for other people that do not work for this kind of settlement, but we are not lamenting because we are coming up too and one day we will get to where they are. The most important thing is that we are optimally using the little resources we have to maximize benefit for our people like you have seen. Our objective is to generally uplift the people and take care of their welfare irrespective of whatever anybody says, irrespective of the politics that is being played. We are doing our best to get the best for our people. We will not be distracted and we will not assume that things are okay. But we know that, with little effort and with the support we have around, we will all muster these little resources and optimise the needs and requirements of our people. I must say it is not easy and, the last time, I agitated that there are some facilities which basically should have been provided as a threshold to all entities. I am not saying that they should give anybody bonus or they should give anybody support that is not required. But for government to function, such a government requires certain things and these things are basic. The Federal Government is bringing an office here; they don’t have a secretariat, and then there will be too much pressure on the houses that are around and that will inflate the cost. So, we are saying basic things like water, ordinarily, as a threshold should be provided and must be provided. The Federal Government secretariat that is there in all states should be made available in our state; spread in development should also be encouraged so that everybody will feel the impact of one na-
tion one destiny. Given Gombe State’s allocation in comparison with the number of projects that your administration has embarked on, where is the found coming from? I think what is very important to know is that we have a very pragmatic financial management system and we tie our projects to cash flows. We are not that indebted. We inherited a lot of debt and what we did was to restructure the debt, so that we can create space for development. We have a robust financial management system and I want to assure you that, as at today, there is no single certificate of valuation that is submitted to Gombe State that is not paid. I am not saying that we have all the funds to pay but we do little financial management to ensure that our obligations are paid as an when due. Having done so much in the education sector and some other areas, what will be your next focus? There are still a lot of things to be done in the education sector because, in some places in Gombe, students are still seen studying under trees. So, we still have a lot to do. We still have a very poor teacherstudent ratio, poor science and arts ratio in terms of personnel in the school, we still have a lot of gaps because all these will manifest in the future into additional little bit of cost of also running the institutions. In the next one or two years, the schools may be due for painting, so it is a continuous investment in education. But the most important investment, going forward, is in teacher-training and retraining; in books investment and supply. Also, we are looking forward to a situation where we will partner, be it PPP or some other forms of financing, for the supply of steady books to the children in Gombe State. What is very different about Gombe is that in certain parts of Gombe, we still have to attract the children to school and keep them. There are some places in Gombe where we have good schools but the children still decline but we still try to attract more. Recently, we have attracted some of them back to the schools including girls. All these are things we will put together in going forward. When we came, we set up an agenda that will run for a long period of time and this agenda was endorsed by Gombe people and the agenda will be carried by anybody that comes to lead Gombe whether I or anybody else and we all agreed that,
WE INHERITED A LOT OF DEBT AND WHAT WE DID WAS TO RESTRUCTURE THE DEBT SO THAT WE CREATE SPACE
WE HAVE A
ROBUST FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT WE USE from time to time, we will sit down and review the agenda for development. It is not only for education, it is the same thing for health, infrastructure, trade and tourism. It is virtually the same thing for all the sectors of the economy. Some of the projects you have seen are the quick and short term deliverables. It is obvious that the problem of water is endemic in Gombe State, what is your administration doing to address this? Fortunately or unfortunately for us, there are some places where you cannot get borehole water and you will go as far
as 500 meters in some places in Gombe. So, the only solution is to get a dam or treated water which is piped. Fortunately, we have a dam in Gombe but it is about 45 to 50 kilometres, so we are drawing the water little by little and it is a huge investment. The first one we did was; when the water came into Gombe, we had to distribute it in and around Gombe and that cost us about N4.2 billion. The next thing was to extend it to certain areas. In these areas, if you drive, it is like you are getting to almost the border of Gombe and in Gombe there is no ground water at all. So, we have succeeded in extending up to 78 kilometres of pipeline towards that side and that cost additional N1.8 billion. So, Gombe is situated in a kind of place that is so difficult and what we are doing is to take them as we are able to get the required cash flow. But the most important thing is not to take all of them at the same time but take them as the available resources are there to take care of them and so far, so good, the Gombe reticulation is almost 90 per cent to 95 per cent completed. Also when you take dam water, you are also adding to the cost of treatment and cost of maintenance. When I came, we ran the dam at about N90 million a month. As at today, we pump the water four times and monthly or quarterly, the cost of maintenance is about N242 million and we used to pump the water only
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coming up in Gombe –Dakwambo THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT WORK FOR OTHER PEOPLE THAT DO NOT WORK FOR THIS KIND OF SETTLEMENT, BUT WE ARE NOT LAMENTING
BECAUSE WE ARE COMING UP TOO AND ONE DAY, WE WILL GET TO WHERE THEY ARE.
IMPORTANT THING IS THAT WE ARE OPTIMALLY USING THE LITTLE RESOURCES WE HAVE TO MAXIMIZE BENEFIT FOR OUR PEOPLE cile pension liabilities. Recently, committees were set up for states and local government on pension liabilities. In Gombe alone, pension liabilities are up to N2 billion plus and the local government is almost the same. So, if I say it is this and it is later reconciled and you find out it is lower, it will not be nice. But I assure you that it is not a problem because we have restructured our debt and we are within a very comfortable limit of debt revenue ratio. So we are very comfortable with that.
once but because of influx of people into Gombe from the neighbouring states who are in one kind of situation or the other, we pump the water four times now on a daily basis. So, this is the kind of pressure that is on us and that also reduces our effort to ensure that other areas that do not have water, have. I could have easily dug boreholes but you cannot even get borehole water here and it is a challenge. As the Auditor-General of the Federation, sitting over billions of naira; could you tell us what was the attraction for the governorship position? I was not the President. It was the President that was sitting over billions. I was only helping him to manage the funds as a custodian. So, I wouldn’t know how to spend it because I did not have that kind of responsibility. On debt, when we came, we attempted to know and reconcile the exact liabilities and I want to tell you that this kind of reconciliation is continuous because the financial management was not as robust as it is now and we do not want to take it as a task to say ‘let us reconcile first, know the exact date and move forward.’ What we have attempted to do is to continue to reconcile as we progress and I am sure as soon as we finish establishing the number because I will soon inaugurate a committee to recon-
How far has your administration gone to support the gas power plant reserves in the state? I am not very familiar with the project because this is some of the problems sometimes that we have. If it is a project and programme of the Federal Government, I may not be in the best position to shed light on it. I know also that the Federal Government has deliberately made effort to develop our coal reserves through the same channel. I am not sure of the arrangement but I know it is in one of the plans that about 1000 megawatts of coal power is in the pipeline. I am also aware that the Minister of State for Power came to inspect the dam water project and she has made some comments especially on the way the concessionaire handled the project before and they are determined to complete the project, which will fetch us up to 40 megawatts of power within six months. If we can get 40 megawatts of power in Gombe, I will assure you that Gombe will not need PHCN and we can come out and guarantee power supply. I also know that there are initiatives with the Germans too on solar firm and the pattern of financing is still being worked out. But this huge gas reserves within the borders of Gombe and Bauchi is there and I am sure that they are making plans and as soon as they finish, maybe we will know because they will require at least our support and contribution. One thing I have to say is that, whichever way they come in, with this kind of programme and project, we are ready to support them to ensure that we don’t have a blackout in Nigeria. We want a bright Nigeria. What are you doing to get refund on the Gombe-Kanawa road, which is a federal road almost completed by the state? They said I should submit the bill and I will submit it. Getting refund from the Federal Government is multi-tasking and I want us to reach a comfortable level and then we will put in the papers. But from day one, we have carried them
along. When we started the road, we did the ground breaking together and till today, we are still working with their engineers. What I assume they will do is that when they have a commitment with us; because we told them that we will do the work and just like we are executing the work, they should also plan on how they will pay us. Even if I submit the whole bill today, with the system of Federal Government and if they don’t have budget for that, they will just add up to the whole stock of so many other debt and work that are being done not by only me but by others. What is, however, important in the area is that that it is the most fertile part of Gombe. It is the area where we have about three dams at a stretch; it is an area where we have about 50,000 acres of irrigated land. The channels and canals are already there and, if properly managed, it can maintain Gombe in terms of food supply 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can farm on that area and that is why it was very important for us to take over that road and from the few numbers that we have seen with the road clearance that has already been done, we have seen improvement in that area. Last year, we had a lot of cotton that was spoilt. After harvesting the cotton, because of the dusty road and they carried the cotton, it was infiltrated by dust and instead of the cotton to be in grade A, it turned to grade D and instead of getting maybe N10 per tonne, you get maybe N2 per tonne and it
discourages one from farming next time. But all those things are gone now. It is also an area that is rich in tomatoes. You will find out that when they farm, a lot of harvest is done on tomatoes and before you bring the tomatoes to the road because of the nature of the road, the tomatoes get spoilt and apart from discouraging you to doing more, it also deters you from even doing the small one because you cannot recoup the investment that you have done and that is why sometimes during the season, tomatoes can be sold as low as N10 per basket and all these are the type of things that we have done. Also, because this is an agrarian state, we have a robust plan to recreate or to establish a commodity market. The market will be made in such a way that we can trade in and farmers get the maximum benefits from the investment they have done in such a way that in the market we can guarantee prices. Prices are not guaranteed today because we don’t have a centralised market. Today, you guarantee prices of crude because the market is centralised, you guarantee prices of coffee because the market is centralised but we cannot guarantee basic crops here because it is a distorted market. You can buy in location A or B and also you may decide to buy or not. If you decide not to buy your perishable crops because of its nature, farmers will be at your mercy to sell at whatever rate. So, we are making an effort to establish a market that will stabilise the price of commodities and we are already done with the plan and we are looking for partners and in the next few months, we will start building and then we will start marketing and I assure you that if that is done in Nigeria, then we can guarantee prices and we will not say this year, we don’t know how much the prices of yam or other goods will be because of the nature of the market. Presently, the market is distorted and that is why we don’t know what the price will be and that will result in artificial scarcity and once you create scarcity, you raise the price.
When’ll darkness give way to stable power supply?
ASO ROCK FILE with
J Jonathan’s legal hammer on Boko Haram sect W ith the approval by President Goodluck Jonathan of the proscription of the violent Boko Haram sect and declaring the group’s activities illegal and acts of terrorism, there is no hiding place for its members and supporters. For the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, the United States had also offered a reward of $7 million for anyone that could provide useful information that could lead to his whereabouts and eventual capture. The proscription order which also affected another group called the Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, has been gazetted as the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice 2013 and officially brings the activities of both groups within the purview of the Terrorism Prevention Act and any persons associated with the two groups can now be legally prosecuted and sentenced to penalties specified in the Act. Jonathan’s approval of the proscription order was pursuant to section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (As Amended). Section 5(1) of the act prescribes a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years for any person who knowingly, in any manner, directly or indirectly, solicits or renders support for the commission of an act of terrorism or to a terrorist group. The Terrorism Act also makes it il-
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legal for anyone to receive or provide information or moral assistance, including invitation to adhere to a terrorist or terrorist group or entering or remaining in a country for the benefit of, or at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group. In the same vein, it is also illegal to provide or make available financial or other related services prohibited under the Act. Jonathan had also declared emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states on May 14 and also ordered the deployment of troops to the three states with powers to arrest and detain suspected terrorists, take-over of suspicious buildings and detain persons suspected to be in possession of arms.
ust like previous administrations, the issue of stable supply of electricity has been a major challenge for the present government; it has become one of the obstacles to vibrant industrial growth and other business activities that could fast-track economic development of the country. As a viable solution to the problem, government decided to privatise the sector in order to ensure efficiency, effective management of the sector and guarantee regular power supply. Already, the privatisation process is on course and it is expected to be completed in July but government has given assurance that there would be uninterrupted power supply by 2014. But even with the assurances and promises of the Federal Government that regular supply of electricity would be possible in the country; many Nigerians, about 120 million, particularly those in the rural areas are presently not even enjoying electricity at all. This is an estimated figure as the number of people presently without electricity
could be higher and with such figure coming from the Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi, at the post-Federal Executive Council (FEC) press briefing, it is an indication that government must be more serious than ever before to ensure that more Nigerians have electricity when the privatisation process is completed. Though, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said that government was working hard to ensure that the nation generates more electricity to meet up with the growing population of the country, Kuchi, the Minister of State, said only 40 million out of the population of 160 million are connected to electricity supply. She said: “Privatisation of the power sector would be concluded in July; what we need to focus on is the commercialisation of the power sector, considering where we are and the fact that we are only giving power to only 40 million. We have 160 million Nigerians now and we are only giving power to 40 million of that population. “What it means is that there are about 120 million Nigerians that are without power and wish to buy power.”
Presidential Villa’s visitors
President Goodluck Jonathan laying a wreath after unveiling memorial cenotaph in honour of victims of the Dana Air crash in Abuja, with him is the son of one of the victims, Samuel Mbong and Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah.
President Nhamajo Serifo of Guinea Bissau
Wife of Guinea Bissau President, Isolina Nhamajo
Governor Isa Yuguda
Governor Gabriel Suswam
Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Dikki
Chairman IBTC Bank, Atedo Peterside
Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company, James Olotu
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsdey Orubebe
When Yuguda, Aliyu fret over NGF crisis Remembering Dana crash victims, assuring airspace safety A
ust like yesterday, it was one year on June 3 when the nation was thrown into mourning as a blanket of sorrow enveloped the country with the death of 153 passengers on board the ill-fated Dana Air which crashed in Lagos. The sad incident also claimed the lives of nine persons on ground. At the first anniversary of the tragic event, memorial cenotaphs were unveiled both in Lagos and Abuja in remembrance of the victims even as their families and relatives were in tears as the event brought back fond memories. There were also laying of wreaths in honour of the victims just as prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of the victims. For President Goodluck Jonathan, who unveiled the memorial cenotaph in Abuja, he promised that his government was committed to doing everything possible to ensure safety of the nation’s airspace to prevent re-occurrence of the incident which he described as a monumental tragedy for the nation. He stated that in order to prevent such incident, the government would spare
no effort in strengthening and enforcing safety regulations in the aviation industry while warning stakeholders in the industry not to compromise safety and maximum vigilance Jonathan said: “I want to say to all my countrymen and women and the entire world that we will make our air space safe. In this regard, I reiterate our determination to do everything humanly possible to prevent reoccurrence of this unfortunate tragedy. In the aftermath of the Dana Air crash, additional safeguards to enhance overall safety of flying in Nigeria were immediately put in place.” At the remembrance service, Reverend Matthew Kukah urged the regulatory agencies and the National Assembly to enact the necessary laws that would enact Nigerian roads and airspace very safe. “We should not only think of how to make aviation safe but the entire country, many Nigerians are dying from car crashes than plane crashes. It is also important for us to remember those who take risk to be at the scene of accidents doing the rescue work,” he said.
s the crisis that emerged over the chairmanship the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) continues to attract attention, it is already beginning to generate bad blood between some governors, particularly, Bauchi State governor Isa Yuguda and Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu. After the May 24 election to the NGF chairmanship, there had been argument over who won the election which was between the Governor of Rivers and Plateau states, Rotimi Amaechi and Jonah Jang. Last week, the contentious issue created a situation where Yuguda and Aliyu were trading blame as to the role the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) played in the whole crisis While reflecting on the circumstances which led to the crisis in the body of 36 state governors, Yuguda said the NSGF under the leadership of Aliyu should be blamed for the crisis. Yuguda, who was at the Presidential Villa last week to meet with the President specifically pointed accusing finger at Aliyu for not taking a firm stand on the decision reached by the 19 northern governors to make Jang the consensus candidate for the chairmanship of NGF. Yuguda maintained that Jang has al-
ready been endorsed as the consensus candidate of the Northern governors. However, Aliyu had a different position on the issue when he spoke at the end of the NSGF meeting in Kaduna. He said that contrary to the claim of some of his colleagues, the NGF actually had an election which produced a winner. Aliyu noted that in any election there may be one person or the other who would be aggrieved.
MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-43
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Constitutional role for CSOs OUR
A DISTINGUISHED Continued from last Wednesday
he Nigerian people desire that CSOs should be actively involved in their governance. Therefore, the constitution should clearly state their roles in governance because it is the document that legally stipulates how Nigerians wish to be governed, not how powerful interests prefer to govern them. Fortunately, our CSOs have a distinguished record of performance. It was CSOs that successfully led the resistance against colonial rule and the struggle for independence; provided mass education and health services that raised most of today’s outstanding leaders in various spheres of life. Since 2004, CSOs have constructively engaged in the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to improve governance through transparency and accountability. NEITI has uncovered $11.6 billion unpaid accruals from oil and gas companies of which $2 billion (N300 billion) has so far been recovered. Nigeria’s implementation of the global EITI principles is reported to rank best amongst the implementing countries around the world. The more recent Federal Government Agriculture Transformation Action Plan also works “within a framework of partnerships” that involves CSOs. How should the CCS be represented in the constitution? We propose that the Constitution Review Committees should insert a new chapter to be titled “The Council of Civil Society”, or some other name to that effect. The Council should be independent of government with an independent secre-
PERFORMANCE tariat run by its CSOs. Government funding support will be a first charge on the consolidated revenue fund. The CCS should function at the three tiers of government. Members of the Council would serve on part-time basis, for a given term, which could be renewed for further terms as may be agreed upon. Representatives should be technocrats. The Council, a kind of constitutional “watch, guide and work dog” and partner, will seek to get things done relying on inputs from the constituencies and the other arms of government. Measures shall be put in place to protect the CCS, its organs and operations from conflicts of personal, ethnic and other divisive interests and corruption. The Councils’ constituency will comprise of independent non-profit media organisations, the Nigeria Diaspora, the academia and professional bodies, women associations, disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, trade unions, foundations and nongovernment organisations, religion-based service organizations, youth, socio-cultural groups, state-, local- and community-based organisations etc, drawn from all over the federation. Institutions of public service delivery, consumer protection and development will be their primary focus and its members and CSO officials will be appointed to the boards and councils of these institutions and they should also serve on the tender
boards, monitoring and evaluation committees of MDAs. The Local Council of Civil Society (LCCS) in each LGA should be comprised of members of the local civil organizations (LCOs) drawn from members of the local media, teachers and medical services unions, women and youth groups, faith-based organisations, town development associations, neighbourhood watch, transport unions, market associations etc. The arrangement will provide for selected members of the LCCS and the larger LCOs to attend meetings of the local government councils and LGA technical committees for example, on revenues, budgets and finance, education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, women, youth, etc). LCCS representatives would have no voting rights. Their participation would serve to share information, enrich council and committee deliberations and facilitate follow up of issues of interest to the LCCSs, LCOs and citizens in general. The local framework of checks and balances would also serve to encourage transparency and accountability in revenue and expenditure matters, and responsiveness in service delivery and local development. The Federal Council of Civil Society (FCCS) will be composed of technical experts and outstanding professionals from the national independent media organisations, the Nigeria Diaspora, the “great federations” of CSOs and others with capacity to impact national issues and policies. The FCCS is therefore, well positioned to monitor federal government projects, among other responsibilities, deploying development associations in all communities, State Council of Civil Society (SCCS) and LCCS. The FCCS would forward these
reports to relevant MDAs, the National Assembly and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Civil Society for necessary action. In similar vein, the FCCS through a network of SCCSs, LCCSs, CSOs, their members and volunteers, can play an important role in the delivery of constituency projects of federal legislators spread all over the country and forward reports to the National Assembly and the Office of Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs in the Presidency. Our constitutional freedoms of speech, assembly and association are yet to be translated to actions that impact our lives. The Human Rights Agenda Network, echoing the voice of civil society, recently complained bitterly about very hostile work environment. They vehemently protested that Nigerian politicians and public officials are not ready to engage and meet the popular demand for good governance. They have threatened to return to the trenches, mobilize and fight the current governments at all levels. Also, the Vice President and governors at the National Economic Council meeting recently expressed worries over the increasing cases of corruption in the system. Is it not time, therefore, for the constitution review committees and our elected representatives to positively respond to these calls? The time to engage the people for national transformation is now. We need to act speedily to set up the CCSs. Concluded. Abara, a former investment banker, is Managing Advisor/CEO, Enterprise Trust & Development Company Limited, Lagos
Remembering victims of Flight J9 992 YAKUBU DATI
ike a soothing balm, the voices of Bishop Mathew Kukah and Dr. Kabir Adamu led the nation in prayers for the lost souls of last year’s Dana Air crash. Exactly a year ago, the tides of the times changed irreversibly forever, the loss of lives, and end of dreams. Hopes were dashed and treasured memories evaporated in seconds. All over the country, families, colleagues and associates all mourned the tragedy that has come to be known as Dana Air Flight J9 992. The ill fated aircraft had crashed into the Iju-Ishaga neighbourhood, in Lagos State, killing the over 157 on board and also some residents on ground. The ensuing weeks after, the country stood united in grief and flags were flown at half mast in honour of the departed passengers. One year after the tragic crash, the first anniversary brought to the fore again the sad reminder of the events of June 3, 2012. And also the harrowing experience the nation went through. President Goodluck Jonathan, who had visited Lagos in the wake of the crash, ensured that their memories were forever aglow. For him, it was an immense loss of compatriots, of citizens, who were not only bread winners with filial attachments to their relations and friends, but who were also contributing to the sustainable development of Ni-
geria in their various capacities. On June 3, 2013, the first year anniversary of the sad event, President Jonathan led the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah and other high profile dignitaries to honour the victims of the accident and unveil a cenotaph built in their remembrance. As part of the on-going reform in the aviation sector and also in an effort to consolidate the renewed vigour in aviation accident and investigation, the aviation industry instituted a safety week, which started on June 3, 2013. It is intended as an annual affair aimed at heightening safety awareness in the industry. At the June 3, 2013 memorial event, Christian and Islamic prayers sessions were held for the repose of the souls of the departed passengers, while the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, who hosted the event, reiterated the commitment of her ministry to ensuring that ugly disasters as the Dana Air crash are averted at all cost. The climax and touching moment of the event was the unveiling of the cenotaph, which contains the names of all the dead passengers, by Mr. President. This act brought once more to light, the sad reminder of the crash. The safety week concentrated more on the appraisal of the actions that had been taken by the aviation industry to improve air safety and the lessons learnt from the tragic crash. It will be recalled that many facilities linked to the safety and critical
THERE IS ALSO THE PLAN TO SET UP
AIRLINES OPERATORS’ INSURANCE COMPENSATION SCHEME components have been improved upon since the June 2012 Dana Air flight crash, just as all the government agencies in the sector have not rested on their oars, but have continued to work to improve on safety of flights and the comfort of passengers. Most importantly, issues of safety and security have been given priority attention with over 80 percent implementation of the recommendations of the Technical and Administrative Review Committee (TARPDA). Also worthy of note is the fact that in the last one year there has been an improvement in the area of communication, navigation and installation of modern surveillance equipment in all the airports in the country. There have also been massive training and human capacity development of Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) and other technical personnel of all the agencies in the aviation sector. Just few days ago, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) flagged off the area radar control that will further reduce flight time. The Lagos- Abuja flight that used to be 55 minutes
may be reduced to only 45 minutes. This improvement will reduce airlines’ operational cost, especially in fuel consumption and reduce for the country man hour spent in the air. Progress is being made in the area of compensation; the initial 30 per cent compensation has been paid to about 90 relatives of the victims. In what has been described as the most profound fall out of the Dana air tragedy, the Ministry of Aviation might be establishing the “Victims Family Insurance Programme.” The programme is designed to provide additional compensation in case of future occurrences of air accidents in the country. There is also the plan to set up airlines operators’ insurance compensation scheme. While the memories of the departed souls will sure linger on forever, efforts are being made to ensure that such future disasters are averted. Dati is the coordinating General Manager, Information and Communications (Aviation parastatals), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
Poor telecoms services and call for compensation
ecently, a telecoms consumer rights group, the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), issued a press statement demanding that GSM subscribers nationwide be compensated with the sum of N583 billion by the service providers for drop calls and unending poor quality of services they deliver to consumers. The president of the association, Chief Deolu Otubanjo, remarked that drop calls and poor services had become so terribly rampant that they were adversely affecting economic activities in the country. He said the group was demanding that a minimum airtime of N5000 be credited to each subscriber by the operators as compensation for the poor quality of GSM services, failure which NATCOMS would institute legal action against the service providers to compel compliance. Regulator of the telecoms industry in Nigeria, the National Telecommunications Commission (NCC), likewise admitted recently that the quality of services rendered by GSM operators deteriorated in the last couple of weeks; and has responded promptly by imposing fines on the four major ones, namely: the MTN, Airtel, Etisalat, and Globacom; with the first two fined N360 million each, the third N270
million, and the fourth, N180 million, amounting to a total sum of N1.17 billion. Usually, such fines, when paid, go into government’s coffers. But NATCOMS boss, Ogunbanjo, was insisting that the fine should be used to compensate subscribers since they, and not the government, are at the receiving end of the poor quality services provided by telecoms operators. Licensed GSM operators had often blamed erratic electric power supply, poor infrastructure, vandalism, capacity crunch, multiple taxation and strangulating government regulations, among others, as responsible for the degeneration of their services. And lately, the problem had been attributed to the newly introduced Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service. But the latter was refuted by NATCOMS on the grounds that the technical requirements for network integration necessary for the smooth operation of the MNP had been completed before the launch of the service. The association alleged that the massive hiccups in GSM services became more pronounced in the past few weeks when the NCC lifted the ban it placed on promos and lotteries in the telecoms industry. That the intervention by NATCOMS is long overdue is, perhaps, stating the obvious. In
FOR SO LONG, GSM SUBSCRIBERS HAVE BEEN FLEECED BY THE OPERATORS FOR SERVICES NOT
PROVIDED, JUST LIKE
POWER HOLDING COMPANY OF NIGERIA (PHCN) THE
a country such as ours, where government agencies and even regulatory authorities pay lip service to the welfare of the citizenry, it is imperative that in addition to the mass media, which constantly put the authorities on their toes, aggressive consumer rights associations can come to the rescue of the exploited and check the excesses of producers or manufacturers of goods and services. While it may be acknowledged that the parlous state of infrastructure hamstrung the performance of GSM service providers in the country, the greedy inclinations of telecoms operators, which are evident in their unsolicited promos and lottery activities that interfere with the networks, more than anything else, is largely responsible for the epileptic and erratic services
they render to their numerous subscribers. Consequently, NATCOMS needs to be encouraged to join forces with other cognate bodies to intensify pressure on unscrupulous GSM service providers who are obviously cashing in on the carefree attitude of the relevant authorities to brazenly exploit Nigerian subscribers for services not rendered. Ours seems to have become a nation where institutions are compromised to the point of blindness. Subscribers may never have value-formoney in terms of the quality of services rendered except through popular, legitimate agitations or litigations. In addition, we think the Nigerian Consumers Rights Protection Council (NCRPC) has been passive enough in this matter. It should rise from its slumber to support the efforts of NATCOMS and other such groups for maximum effect. For so long, GSM subscribers have been fleeced by the operators for services not provided, just like the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) that passes bloated electricity bills on monthly basis to consumers for electricity not supplied. If concerted and sustained group interventions fail, resort to self help by individuals out of desperation should not be ruled out.
ON THIS DAY June 11, 2012 T wo ea r t hqu a ke s s t r u ck n o r t h e r n A f ghani sta n , ca u si ng a la r g e la n d s li d e, wh i ch buri ed t h e t ow n of S ay i H a z a r a a n d t r ap p ed 71 p eo pl e. Aft e r fo u r d ay s o f d i g g i n g , o n ly five b od i e s were re c ove re d a n d t h e s e a rch was call e d o f f. T h e f i r s t e a r t h q u a ke s t r u ck at 9:32 a m l ocal t i m e, re g i s t e r i n g w i t h a m a gnitud e o f 5 . 4 at 1 5 k i lo m e t re s.
June 11, 2008 Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, made an historic official apology to Canada’s First Nations in regard to a residential school abuse in which children were isolated from their homes, families and cultures for a century. The 19th century CanadianIndian residential school system, which separated children from their families, has been described as cultural genocide or “killing the Indian in the child.”
June 11, 2002 Antonio Meucci was acknowledged as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States’ Congress. Meucci (1808–1889) was an Italian-American inventor and a friend of the revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi. He was best known for developing a voice communication apparatus which several sources credit as the first telephone. Meucci’s voice communication link in his Staten Island home connected his second floor bedroom to his laboratory.
FAAN, airlines disagree over touting at Lagos Airport
Increase in brokers’ licensing fees to implode insurance sector 37 SUPER TUESDAY
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Mixed feelings trail China’s proposed $6bn housing sector loan
Arik Air Lag-Abj:07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 13.05, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50,18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40,10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15,17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun)Lag-PH: 07:15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.10, 17.15 (Mon-Fri) 07.30, 11.40, 15.50 (Sat) 11.50, 3.50, 17.05 Sun) Abj-PH: 07.15, 11.20, 15.30 (Mon-Fri) 07.15, 16.00 (Sat) 13.10, 16.00 Sun) PH-Abj: 08.45, 12.50, 17.00 (Mon-Fri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) AbvBeni:08.00, 12.10 (Mon-Fri/ Sat)08.56, 12.10(Sun)
Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) LagBenin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat)
Modern estates in Abuja
Caution should be the rule of the game following a business proposal by the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, SINOSURE, and the International Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), to invest $6 billion, about N948 billion, in Nigeria’s housing sector, according to housing experts, who have advised the authorities in charge to read between the lines before the deal is sealed. DAYO AYEYEMI, writes.
ifferent stokes for different folks. Although the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), is still basking in the ecstasy of the Chinese’s proposal to invest $6 billion, about N948 billion, in the nation’s housing sector,
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practitioners in the industry which include estate developers, builders, engineers and estate surveyors, are expressing mixed feelings concerning the offer. While a few of them see the offer as a good step to move the industry forward, many urged the Federal Government to be vigilant before sealing the deal so that it does not turn a Greek gift. Nigeria has about a housing deficit of about 17 million units and will need to build about one million houses every year in
the next 20 years to bridge the gap. It will also require about N48 trillion to meet the need. The Managing Director of FMBN, Mallam Gimba Yau’ Kumo, had disclosed penultimate week at a Media RoundTable in Abuja organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) that a China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, SINOSURE, and the International Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) were in Nigeria with a business proposal to invest in the nation’s housing sector. Yau’ Kumo further disclosed
that the investment tour was part of the bank’s business expansion initiative targeted at attracting foreign investment into the capital intensive sector such as housing with a view to fostering the conditions of public private partnership (PPP) in the development of the sector He hinted that FMBN has entered into discussions with the two Chinese investment companies with a view to securing what he called a single-digit loan facility of $6 billion to develop the housing sector. The loan, he said would be in a moratorium of 15 to 20 years; which would be released directly to Chinese construction companies in the country to be disbursed in tranches of $1.5 billion, the arrangement being that the firms would build the houses under the supervision of
IRS Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00
CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
7 firms get license to generate 2,758MW
What employers are looking for in employees
Understanding building foundation type to prevent structural failures
Business & Finance
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Mixed feelings trail China’s proposed $6bn housing sector loan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 the FMBN. This looks good on the investment score-card of the Federal Government. But the matter is not as simple as that as developers and other built environment experts have continued to warn the central authority on the long term negative implications of the deal if signed without putting in place the necessary framework to promote economic development. When contacted by National Mirror, promoters of Medical Guild Estate, Warewa, Ogun State, Mr. Adams Kehinde, said the conditions that the money would be deployed through FMBN to Chinese firms to build houses for Nigerians should not be accepted. According to him, the Chinese cannot make sole decision to build the houses alone, pointing out that if allowed, it would promote capital flight, which would have negative consequences on Nigeria’s economy. Kehinde explained that the government has a role to play in the matter by studying the proposal documents very well and ensure that a framework is put in place to ensure that the money is disbursed through the FMBN by taking into consideration the Real Estate Developers’ of Nigeria (REDAN). He said, “Our government should look beyond economic growth but economic development. As we know, the Chinese will import all their labour, materials and machinery. They will also transfer their money to their home country. This will affect our economy, and this is why our government needs to study the document very well to guide against capital flight.” Part of what to consider in the proposal, according to him, should involve prices of the housing units, noting that the income of majority of Nigerians is low and most cannot really afford N10 million housing unit. “Many people are not employed. Those that are employed are not being paid well. Also, there is job insecurity. All these must be factored into the arrangement,” he said, canvassing that local developers should be involved to partner FMBN and the Chinese firms to deploy the fund appropriately. A home seeker, Mr. Bello Adama, who is also a plank seller at Ikeja, Lagos said government should hasten the process of accepting the offer since it would provide opportunity for him and people in low income group. He urged that any house built and the price is above N1.5million and N2million may not be affordable for people in his cadre considering their low income. Also speaking, Managing Director of Xpress Property Limited, Mr. Segun Allan Ali, while expressing mixed reactions, advised government to look more at the positivity of the offer with a progressive vision. He enjoined the Federal Government to take a critical look at the pros and cons of the proposal and take a slice of the healthy part of the apple. He added the central authority to study the proposal and negotiate condi-
tions that will suit the nation’s obvious needs in the housing sector “after all it is a low interest loan offer and a practical investment that will serve the social need of our people.” According to Ali, who is also a developer, the proposal should be shared with relevant stakeholders in the sector for an open minded input. He, however, described the proposal “a step in the right direction,” noting that some other African countries are currently benefiting from similar largesse of the Chinese investors. Accepting the offer, he said would depend of the details contained in the proposal and the alternative options available to Nigeria considering the dire need for a vigorous and proactive remedy to the dismal lack of affordable housing in country. He said, “A progressive offer is better than no offer at all. The housing situation in the country has an obvious void which the Chinese people have identified and thus quick to take advantage after all they are not obliged to take on the social responsibility and obligation of our government. “Although I am not privy to the fine details contained in the proposal, it may also be a wakeup call to our local banks and financial institutions to see the moral need of offering sensible services in the sector in the area of funding.” He maintained that the implication would be a positive address to nation’s social need of affordable housing if the terms and details of the proposal are protective of the national interest and in accordance with the standard of the nation’s building codes. “I really can’t see any negativity in this offer because we have a need and the Chinese are offering to give,” he said. On the fear the proposal might flush out indigenous firms, Ali said it would not but help to further activate the docile local firms, explaining that Chinese firms would need to collaborate with the locals to effectively deliver the housing units. He said, “This can also be entrenched
OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD LOOK BEYOND ECONOMIC GROWTH, BUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT in the negotiation and implementation of the proposal or MOU as the case may be.” Former, Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Lagos Broach, Mr. Olatunde Jayesimi, also sounded a warning to the FMBN, urging that the facility should be taken with caution. He warned that the proposal should be studied to make sure that the interest of the country is not negotiated. Jaiyesimi, who is also a builder, advised that local firms’ interest should be properly protected. He said, “l must sound a note of caution here. Some years ago, the Lagos State Government brought some Chinese companies to construct classroom blocks (Millennium Classroom). The companies brought in artisans under the guise of experts. You know labour is cheap in China. It is easy for the companies to bring in all sorts of personnel under the guise of expatriates. “This should not be allowed to the detriment of our local firms. Our local professionals and technical men and women should be involved in the proposal bearing in mind that China products are in some cases associated with poor standards and quality, care must be taken to ensure that construction materials to be used must be able to stand the test of time. Houses to be built must be affordable and of simple design for ease of maintenance.” He enjoined government to involve of Nigerian housing experts in the deal, saying, “local professionals are capable and can perform if given the opportunity”. The newly-elected Chairman of Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Stephen Jagun, said there was need to
apply caution before accepting the offer. He said “It is good that China is dangling the carrot. We must however read between the lines. We must be cautious that China is trying to match America’s influence the world over; particularly in Africa. “We must put uncompromised standards in place to ensure that we don’t become a dumping ground for sub-standard goods. The same China that sends inferior goods to Nigeria sends good quality ones to England because there standard will not be compromised.” According to him, the negotiating team must ensure that self interest and political consideration do not determine the location of the projects. He advised that the nation should define what it wants done and it wants it. “China in giving out loan wants to also promote its companies. We can find a way around how we can have local content in the delivery; employment of our professionals and establishment of industries locally among others. Former Vice Chairman, Lagos branch of NIESV, Mr. Ibukun Jolayemi, expressed mixed feelings, saying the positive implication of the offer if accepted, would add to the supply of housing in the country. “The government and private sector cannot meet the demand for housing and the interference of foreigners is giving us additional solution to meet the need,” he expressed. The negative implication, he said would mean that Nigerians are going to buy the houses, and the money realised from the sale by the Chinese will be transferred to their country. According to him, unless government make a legislation not to allow full repatriation of the money by encouraging them to reinvest in the country, the proposal would not engender economic development. Besides, Jolayemi said the offer would give room for competition between local developers and their foreign counterparts, which will lead to improved housing quality, thereby reducing the cases of collapse building.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
7 firms get license to generate 2,758mw CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
ederal Government yesterday issued licenses to seven companies to generate additional 2758mw to the national grid under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP). The companies licensed include Calabar Generation Company Limited, Benin Generation Company Limited and Egbema Generation Company Limited. Others are Gbarain Generation Company Limited, Geregu Generation Company Limited, Omoku Generation Company Limited, Omotosho Generation Company Limited. In his remark at the occasion, the Chairman of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, noted that licensing process had faced some challenges among which was unavailability of gas supply to both licensees.
L–R: Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Ade Bajomo; Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oscar Onyema; Group Managing Director/CEO, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Emeka Emuwa and Executive Director, Business Development, NSE Haruna Jalo-Waziri, at the UBN Plc’s presentation of Facts Behind the Figures at the Exchange in Lagos on Friday.
According the NERC boss, standard regulatory practice demands submission of an executed gas supply agreement or a letter of commitment that the power plant will have the
Active telecoms subscribers rise to 117m KUNLE A ZEEZ
he number of active telephone lines currently in Nigeria has further increased to 117.2 million, National Mirror gathered yesterday. In the latest subscriber data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission for the month of March, 2013, active telephone lines which stood at 114.4 million and 166.6 million in January and February, 2013 increased by additional 600, 000 lines reaching 117.2 million by March end. The increment in active subscriptions was contributed only by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) networks including MTN, Glo, Airtel and Etisalat whose subscriber bases have continued to increase monthon-month. However, the Code Division Multiple Access, CDMA, operators of Starcomms, Starcomms, MultiLinks and the dormant Zoom Mobile recorded a decline of 87, 385 lines on their networks from 2,790,989 lines down to 2,703,604 lines. Like the CDMA, the Fixed Wired/Wireless sub segment of the nation’s telecoms sector with 410, 664 lines in February sustained a downward profile in March, having dropped to 405, 625 subscriptions. The NCC latest data also showed that as there was increased in active telephone lines; there was also increase in the total number of connected telephone lines which
have increased to 161 million, of which 117.2 were found to be active. National Mirror learnt that despite the down turn in telecommunications services in the country and increased customer dissatisfactions, Nigeria’s connected telephone lines grew by over 2 million in March 2013 to reach 161 million. The country’s connected lines as at February 2013 was 159. 9 million but went up to 162 million in March. This growth, it was gathered, was coming on heels of apparent drop in quality of services from the telecoms operators, as subscribers continue to grapple with surge in drop calls and frequent total service outages. However, the telecommunications installed capacity grew by 10.7 million in March, moving from 226.6 million in February to 237.4 million at the end of March, 2013. The sector also recorded slight deeper telephone penetration in March. The teledensity moved from 83.2 per cent to 83.7 per cent in March. Meanwhile, the NCC has also released the active internet subscription for GSM networks, where MTN Nigeria continues to lead the market in GSM internet subscriptions. According to the data, as at February, 2013, active GSM internet subscriptions were estimated at 32.3 million, of which MTN had 21.3 million; followed by Airtel with 5.8 million and 4.3 million for Etisalat. Globacom came last with 801,218 mobile subscriptions.
required supply of gas for thermal plants, adding it had affected several power projects. He however, noted that Federal Government’s establishment of Gas Aggregation
Company Nigeria Limited (GACNL) with the responsibility for developing mechanism for making gas available for power projects was enough demonstration of its commit-
ment to support investors in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). Amadi charged licensees to take advantage of the opportunity offered by government to contribute in addressing the challenges of inadequacy of electricity in the country. “Let me emphasize the point once again, that the entities being licensed today have a very critical role to play in the reform and growth of the sector. This additional capacity of 2758MW to the grid will not only increase the electricity available to consumers and thereby improving their standard of living and businesses but at the same time it poses a challenge to the entities to make it sustainable” The licences would issued by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the NDPHC.
Chanchangi Airlines workers protest 36 months unpaid salaries OLUSEGUN KOIKI
o fewer than 53 staff of Chanchangi Airlines yesterday protested against the management of the airline over unpaid salaries spanning 36 months. The workers protested to the headquarters of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, when the management advised them to embark on compulsory leave. The workers alleged that they were asked to stay off from work since 2010, when the airline started having operational challenges, and were yet to be paid till now, stressing that all attempts to draw the management
of the airline to their plights has failed. The protesting workers added that all their official communication to the NCAA, the industry safety regulator on the matter has also failed over the years. Before the protest to NCAA, earlier, the workers registered their grievances at the ticketing counters of the new domestic terminal to drive home their point and gathered sympathises from the users of the airport. However, the Station Manager, Chanchangi Airline, Mr Babadiya Ahmed said the airline was already looking into the unpaid salaries issue, but emphasised that the workers were not at anytime sacked by the management.
he confirmed that the workers were asked to proceed on compulsory leave due to operational challenges of the airline and assured the issue would be resolved very soon. At NCAA, the workers were received by the Director, Human Resources, Mr Austin AmadiIfeanyi and Director, Consumer Protection Directorate, Alhaji Adamu Abdulahi, who assured them that the authority would look into their grievances and ensure the airline does what is right. The directors commended the aggrieved workers for registering their grievances peacefully without any form of destruction to the airline or disruption to aviation activities.
NUPENG gives 14-day ultimatum over anti-labour practices MESHACK IDEHEN
he National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), has given the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum, failing which oil and gas workers in the country would proceed on an indefinite strike action. Also urging the Federal Government to immediately convene a national oil and gas conference to tackle the excesses of International Oil Companies (IOCs) in the oil and gas sector, the workers said they are fed up with casualisation and unfair labour practice in the industry. National President of NUPENG, Mr. Igwe Achese, in a brief statement after the end
of the union’s Central Working Committee meeting in Lagos said oil and gas workers are expressing disgust over the inhuman treatment Nigerian workers are being subjected to by foreign oil companies in the country Specifically accusing the Shell Petroleum Development Company,(SPDC), Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), of perpetuating unfair labour practices against its Nigeria workers, the oil workers said the union would ensure its members are protected from the exploitative tendencies of the oil and gas companies. Achese said, “The decision to call for a national conference was taken based on anti-labour posture of Chevron, Shell and Agip.
Chevron has in spite of efforts from the union and concerned stakeholders, refused to pay the workers that they sacked, despite having spent more than 15 years in the service of the company. “Shell on their own side, has directed their labour contractors to lay off over 126 of our members who are contract workers as a result of divestment from the Western operation; a divestment that was conducted without relevant stakeholders like the workers being carried along. “Agip in the same vein has also refused to pay terminal benefits of 93 of our members they sacked without due process. The company (AGIP) has continued to deny responsibilities for their payments,” the NUPENG president said.
Business & Finance
Lufthansa Airlines to spend N600bn to boost operations OLUSEGUN KOIKI
ne of the leading foreign carriers flying into Nigeria, Lufthansa Airlines, yesterday said it intends to spend €3bn (about N600bn) in beefing up its operations worldwide by 2015. The Managing Director, West and Central Africa, Lufthansa Airlines, Mr. Claus Becker revealed this in Lagos during the tour of some prominent travel agents in Lagos. Becker revealed that the financial expenditure, which began in 2012 is aimed at increasing the fleet of the airline, develop its in-flight services in all cabins, introduction of new classes and ground handling services among others. He said, “We started in 2012, but as you know it is quite complex in introducing new classes and products, it takes a lot of time and
preparation and it is also costly in introducing new class. In a fleet of 400 planes, it takes quite some time before all these planes will be equipped with the new products in them. “We have a full fledged business class, which is also a state of the art and that is already been introduced on the new Boeing 747-800, which is also coming on the other planes and we have up to date economic class product. All these will be done in four years; 2012, 2013, 2014 up to 2015 and it takes a lot of money, which we have to put in the cash flow. So, it is a big effort and it requires a profitable airline to carry out.” Becker emphasised that its clients in Nigeria will also benefit from the improved services on its fleet, but could not state categorically the percentage that would be allocated to the Nigerian routes from the amount of money.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 “The Nigerian passengers are sure of getting these new products as well as other ones and then you have to consider a passenger who flies with Lufthansa from Nigeria to Frankfurt, Germany,’’ Becker said. He said that the airline had employed Nigerians as one of its social responsibilities to the country, stressing that employment generation was one of the major Cooperate Social Responsibilities, CSR, supported by the company’s headquarters. Becker stated further that the airline had a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to train Nigerian flight attendance, which it has been doing over the years, adding that it has been having a good working relationship with travelling agents in the country. Also, speaking on tour of the agencies, the Managing Director, Aeroland Travel Agency, Mr. Segun Adewale, commended the airline for touring the agencies and promised to increase the patronage of the airline before the end of the year by 20 per cent from the previous year.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Power: FG inaugurates 13 man-panel to investigate system collapses CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
he minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, yesterday inaugurated a 13-man Technical Investigative panel to articulate ways to mitigate the constant system collapses in the power sector. Nebo listed the members of this panel to include Mr Fatai Olapade Chairman, Mr. A. Adebisi secretary, Sanausi Garba member, Dr Sam Amadi, R. Dagogo-jack, and J. Ognonna members. Others include, Mr. Kingsley Achefe, O.Ekpo, James Olotu, Mike Uzoigwe, Chris Akamnonu, Don Priestman, and Mr Kunle Olubiyo president of Network for Energy Reform as members. Nebo gave the panel the following as its terms of reference namely, to determine the imme-
Resourcery deploys new technology for MTN KUNLE A ZEEZ
L-R: Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Akinnwale Goodluck; Sales & Distribution Executive, Mr. Omatsola Barrow, and Customer Relations Executive, Mr. Akinwunmi Braithwaite, at a media parley in Lagos, yesterday
Climate resilience, low-carbon growth critical to Nigeria’s economy - Report UDO ONYEKA
igeria’s economy can be made more climate-resilient and less carbon-intensive without foregoing growth a report by World Bank released yesterday said. The report which was the fruit of a two-year long collaboration between the World Bank and the Government of Nigeria to address the challenges posed by climate change to Nigeria identified specific technologies and management practices that could be applied to key economic sectors, including agriculture and land use, water resources, oil and gas, power, and transport. The report said “The 2012 floods in Nigeria were a stark reminder of the vulnerability of our communities, infrastructure and economy to climateinduced natural disasters .The study will help inform decision-
making across key sectors and levels of governments so that the economy becomes not only more productive but also more climate-resilient.” The reports contain a sobering finding: absent actions taken now, the impacts of climate change could hamper Nigeria’s ability to achieve its ambition -set out in Vision 20: 2020- of becoming one of the world’s 20 largest economies by 2020. “The World Bank is privileged to have a strong partnership with the Government of Nigeria, and I am pleased that our latest collaborative effort takes a close look at climate change and its potential impacts on Nigeria, Africa’s second largest economy,” said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria. “The good news is that a range of technological and management actions are available and offer promising opportunities to build resilience to climate change into
the fabric of the economy, according to the report. “According to World Bank’s Director of Sustainable Development for the Africa Region.Jamil Saghir the report would assist sound policy-making and better assessment of tradeoffs. The report offer practical examples of win-win actions that Nigeria could consider adopting for achieving lasting development outcomes.” Toward Climate-Resilient Development in Nigeria proposes ten practical short-term priority actions that could help to address the threats that climate change poses to Vision 20:2020. These actions include strengthening overall governance for climate action, enhancing agricultural research and extension services, integrating climate into the planning and design of water infrastructure, and promoting sustainable land management practices as part of the Government’s Agriculture Transformation Agenda.
diate and remote causes of the system collapses. The panel was also to review all the system collapses that occurred from January to date, review the performance and effectiveness of the grid’s protection system in the period under review. The panel would also, recommend measures to further strengthen the protection mechanism and to consider any other system collapse related issues in the sector. The minister gave the panel two weeks to submit its reports, adding that ``the ministry would not tolerate any excuses’’, Nebo said. Earlier, the minister of state for power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi , asked the panel to be futuristic and innovative in their investigation in order to get a lasting solution to the problem .
leading systems integration company in Nigeria, Resourcery Plc, in partnership with the global leader in networking, Cisco, has implemented Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) for MTN Nigeria. The solution was implemented in 12 major MTN switch sites in four regions across the country. The successful implementation of the project includes the migration from the legacy Interne protocol /MPLS Solution to a modernised future-proof technology. The actual project implementation was completed in six months. This ensures that, MTN can now easily accommodate new and near future technologies especially in its bid to
reduce network congestion. Speaking on the significance of the project in a statement, the National Information Technology Manager, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Chukwunonso Nkenkem, said the company had tapped into the future with this project. He said with the new technology, MTN would be able to easily respond to rapidly-changing business needs, most especially high customer traffic, and increased bandwidth demand, Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP, and video. According to him, as the demand for voice peaks and the need for data increases, the company is better positioned to respond appropriately to the changing demands. “The MPLS network is a future-optimized platform which would ensure that present and future services on the network would be adequately catered for.
Consumers’ rights: Slot plans 30 customer care units KUNLE A ZEEZ
leading mobile phone distributor in the country, Slot Systems Limited, has said that as part of measures to deepen consumer awareness on mobile devices warranties, it planned to open a customer care unit each in its over 30 sales outlets across the country. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Slot Systems Limited, Mr. Nnamdi Ezeigbo, disclosed recently as it began an initiative aimed at creating increased awareness for Nigerians on how they can maximize the benefits provided warranties provided by mobile devices manufacturers. Ezeigbo said the consumer awareness campaign on mobile
phone warranties was to educate its consumers on warranty conditions, clarify misconceptions while addressing other warrantyrelated issues, whose improper understanding may trigger crisis after product purchase. Addressing a press conference on the initiative, Ezeigbo, said although mobile devices consumers in Nigeria were conscious of their rights and appreciate quality products, there are still a larger percentage of them yet to understand rudiments on warranty. He said mobile devices consumers were expected to maximize opportunities attached to the purchase condition of a product, especially when bought from the authorised dealer such as Slot, rather than abuse the process.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
What employers are looking for in employees Apart from well known factors of contacts, credibility and competence, human resource management experts said other critical factors are important in knowing what employers really want in order to get the kind of job most desired, MESHACK IDEHEN writes.
emoaning his fate during a recent job screening exercise conducted in Lagos by one of the foremost human resource development institutes in the country, fresh Microbiology graduate of from University of Ilorin, Mr. Celestine Iloube, wondered if he will ever know or understand what employers in the country really want from job seekers. Explaining to National Mirror on the sideline, after most of the prospective employers at the career fair had told him to improve on his intelligent quotient (IQ), and also make effort to acquire hands on business management skills beside that of Microbiology he had studied at the university, Iloube said he is convinced that it will take eternity for him and his colleagues to find jobs. In the same vein, recruiters and employers said more than half of the speculated challenges associated with finding and securing jobs by fresh graduates in particular end, when such are able to pin point the specific needs each and every employers is looking for. “One size don’t fits all”, explained the Registrar and Chie Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, (CIPM), Mr. Sunday Adeyemi,“Every employer has his or her own peculiar needs or requirements that must be filled and met, before a candidate is considered worthy for employment”. According to him, “it is the duty of job seekers to ensure he clearly know the employment need of the company, in order to know how best to direct his effort. Sadly, though, many job seekers don’t even know the name of the organisations they want to apply or have already applied to for employment”. Listing some of the things employers usually look out for in making employment decisions, Recruiter and Managing Partner, Prot Consulting Limited, Mr. Sunny Agboju, stated that employers go to great lengths to ensure that they offer employment to square pegs in a square holes. Basic competence, communication skills, Interpersonal skills, adaptability and willingness to learn, Agboju who is also the former managing director of Errand Express Limited, said intelligence by job seekers is the major asset wanted by the employers. Making reference to a recent study conducted by the Author of Earn What You’re Really Worth, Brain Tracy, and published on the website, theundercoverrecruiter. com, he explained the first quality that employers looks out for in any employee be they current or potential, is intelligence. In that research by Brain Tracy; who Agboju said is considered globally as a master human resource manager, it was found that 76 percent of the productivity
Segun Osinowo, Director-General of NECA
IT IS THE DUTY OF JOB SEEKER TO ENSURE THEY KNOWS THE EMPLOYMENT NEED OF THE
COMPANY, IN ORDER TO KNOW HOW BEST TO DIRECT THEIR
SADLY, THOUGH, MANY JOB SEEKERS DON’T EVEN KNOW THE NAME OF THE ORGANISATIONS THEY WANT TO APPLY OR HAVE APPLIED TO FOR EMPLOYMENT and contribution of an employee will be determined by his or her level of intelligence, and that intelligence in this sense, means the ability to plan, to organise, to set priorities, to solve problems, and to get the job done. According to him, “Intelligence refers to your level of common sense and your practical ability to deal with the day-to-day challenges of the job. The key to demonstrating your intelligence is for you to ask intelligent questions. One of the hallmarks of intelligence that is immediately evident is curiosity”. In that regards, other experts who spoke with National Mirror, said job seekers must constantly display a high level of intelligence based on its definition as the practical ability to deal with the day to day challenges of the job, to pass employers scrutiny and meet their demands. Harping on the need for basic competence, Senior Partner, Workplace People and Process, Mr. Harry Ifinima,
said a job seeker must at the very least, indicate he or she knows how to do the job for which they are to be employed. “As a job seeker, you must show a theoretical level of competence, which is the least expectations. A sense of competence gives you confidence and gives the employer the basis for comparison and performance appraisal”. According to him, majority of the nation’s employers also desire employees with good communication skills. Success in most jobs requires writing, verbal and non-verbal communications abilities. Employers also desires a strong Inter-personal skills ability, as no man is an island, moreso,as organisation must at least relate to others outside and within itself. On his part, and citing initiative and independence as crucial factors which employers consider when deciding to conduct employment, Managing Director of Purple Consulting Group Limited, Mr. Wale Odeda, said employers are in love with employee that can take on-the -spot decisions with infrequent errors. “Employers require a work force that can take on tasks and projects and get them done without having to tell them what to do every step of the way. Ability to work on your own is important in the work- place, more so in certain positions such as consultancy”, he added. However, Odeda also cited the need for cooperation and collaboration as critical employer’s requirements for employment consideration, saying in spite of the need to be independent, the fact remains that significant part of work- place assignments takes place within teams. He explained that employees require the skills to understand themselves and their strength within the team as well as those of other team players, in order to enhance performance through effective use of each team member.
Access Bank appoints Awosika non executive director MESHACK IDEHEN
ccess Bank has announced the appointment of Dr. (Mrs.) Ajoritsedere Awosika as its 2nd Independent Non-Executive Director following the approval of the bank’s Board of Directors and Central Bank of Nigeria. The bank’s Chairman, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, said Access Bank is delighted to have Awosika join its Board, adding her impressive credentials and vast experience will be of significant value to the Bank over the years to come.
In a statement, the bank described her appointment as commendable and impressive, saying as a leading voice in corporate governance practice that her appointment will ensure gender balance on the bank’s Board and a rich harvest of integrity. According to the statement, Awosika has over 35 years experience in public health and possesses extensive experience in public sector governance, and was elected the first female secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria. She was also a resource person for the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria at various times in
her career. Reacting to her appointment, Awosika said it is pleasing to serve on the Board of Access Bank Plc, saying she considers her appointment a great honour, while assuring stakeholders that she will work with other Board members as they build a world class financial institution. Awosika has held a number of key public sector positions including being permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, and until her retirement; permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Power.
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Tips for an effective job search
ny job search is a complex and multifaceted project. It involves many variables in the decisionmaking process including your skills, values, interests, location, advancement, corporate culture, salary and benefits. Let the following systematic strategy take the mystery and fear out of this challenging undertaking. Meet with a professional career counsellor – Perhaps you are feeling confused and really need an objective coach. A trained Career Counsellor can help guide and prevent you from making the wrong decisions. They can validate jobs that you may already have been thinking about or give you new ideas. Regular meetings will help you stay organised, focused and avoid distractions. Complete the self-assessment stage – A career counsellor will help you clarify exactly what you want in both your professional and personal life. A very careful inventory of your V.I.P.S. (Values, Interests, Personality Traits and Skills) through career counselling, career testing and a career questionnaire can help you match up a summary of your personal profile with possible career and job options. Complete the career exploration stage – In this stage you will do four things: reading and researching, networking and informational interviewing, gaining experience, and evaluating each career option. After you spend some quality time accomplishing these 4 tasks, you will want to prioritize your top 10 jobs into 3 types of Career Categories: 1) Ideal/Dream Jobs – “These are the jobs I really, really want;” 2) Back-Up Jobs – “These are realistic jobs I could probably get and would be somewhat satisfied;” 3) Safety/Survival Jobs – “These
MD Context Consult Limited, Abiola Popoola
are the jobs I must take in order to stay afloat.” Commit these to writing. Research your job search prospects – Create an exhaustive list of all of the prospective employers in each of these three categories into a spreadsheet which should include a grid of the following: 1) Employer’s Name, 2) Contact Person, 3) Address, Phone, Email, Website and Fax, 4) Date Resume Sent, 5) Date of Follow-up Phone Call, 6) Date of First Interview, 7) Date of Second Interview, 8) Date Thank You Letter Sent, and finally 9) Job Offer Yes/No. Develop a record keeping system that works for you. Develop your resume and cover letter – These are your most important job search documents so spend some quality time making them persuasive marketing tools. Be sure your resume and cover letter are tailored to a specific person and job. Contact your references and inform them of your career plans. Implement your job search campaign – Networking remains the most effective job search technique and also the most time-consuming. Spend 80 percent of your time working your “Circle of Influence.” Develop a time frame and a pace that works for you and break
down large tasks into smaller more manageable weekly assignments. The more methods you use, the faster you will get results. Focus on networking, but don’t ignore the other techniques. Follow-up, Follow-up, Followup – It is recommended that you follow-up with a phone call if the employer has not contacted you within a reasonable amount of time. When you get the person on the phone, politely tell him or her that you are checking on the status of your resume and cover letter, and you are still very interested in the position. Be politely persistent with interviewers. Your goal in this phone conversation is to convince them to schedule you for an interview. Develop your interview skills – This is the most important and most neglected part of the job search. Most candidates are eliminated in the first 2 minutes because they lack “presence.” Your job is to help the interviewer see the match between your background and the job. Emphasize by examples the top 3 to 5 skills you offer. At the end ask, “What’s the next step?“ Send thank you letters, be patient and follow-up. – Send a sincere and tailored thank you letter immediately after the interview. Only about 10 percent of candidates ever do this, but it can sometimes give you an edge over the competition. Depending on the employer and situation, the letter can be typed, emailed or handwritten on a card. Evaluate job offers – Before you accept an offer, be sure to contact your career counsellor to carefully evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this important decision. You should thoughtfully weigh such important factors as the job content, your supervisor, training, advancement prestige, salary, location, salary and benefits. Source: jobsearch.about.com
Minister tasks NYCN exco on national development JOEL AJAYI ABUJA
he Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa AbdulKadir has called on the newly elected Executive Council members of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) to be up doing in their activities, so that the impact of ongoing Federal Government’s Transformation Agenda, in terms of youth empowerment, can bear on them in their self-actualisation drives. This even as he advised the Exco members to shun any act that can portray the Council in bad light and undermine government’s initiatives to transform youths as the most vital agents in national devel-
opment. The minister who made the call when the new executive members of the council paid him a visit in Abuja, noted that the future of the country is in the hands of youth and therefore urged them to come together for the stability and the growth of the nation. He said: “Now, my hope has been raised by the free and fair election the youth of this great nation conducted without any post election crisis which signifies that youth are the mechanism for the growth and development of any nation and youth must come together and turn away from any act that can knock the peace of this country particularly the present insecurity in the country”.
Abdul-Kadir also charged the teeming youths in the country to join hands with the government in tackling the insecurity challenge the country is contending with now by channelling their creative capabilities to productivity and eschewing all forms of brigandage or violence. He assured the Council of government’s support through different programmes that will help them make progress In his remarks, the newly President of the NYCN, Comrade Yakubu Shendam, assured the minister of the council’s readiness to work closely with the ministry in order to achieve the objectives of various programmes designed to improve the lot of the Nigerian youth.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
he position of a Procurement Manager from (www.findjobafrica) opens up latest and available jobs for the week, and will be working closely with selected supplier and managing the company’s procurement activities. He/she will also provide leadership for the procurement department and motivating staff to achieve maximum performance and efficiency. Making sure that the procurement department works within all of the companies Operational Procedures Other roles and responsibilities are to maintain records of goods ordered and received, develop and manage the procurement department including setting targets and monitoring performance, develop and deliver a procurement strategy across the company and deliver the target benefits and financial savings Required skills and competencies are relationship management and establishing effective operating policies, lean initiatives and processes. Comprehensive understanding and experience of purchasing strategies and also inventory management and regularly achieving cost saving targets. He/she must also be resourceful and well organised. Extensive knowledge of purchase order systems and related software. Deep understanding of the principles of vendor management. Ability to manage multiple priorities. Experience of a minimum of 10 years post qualification experience 6 of which must be in a construction environment. A good university degree in purchasing and supply; supply chain management, quantity survey, engineering or related discipline MBA or additional professional qualification would be an advantage. From www.jobberman. com is the position of a Project Manager (trainee) for young graduates in terms of training, certifications and providing practical experience at the highest industry standard to help them become skilled, certified professionals. The internship is from a period of six months to two years depending on experience, education and exposure. At the end of the internship period, employment is offered to the most outstanding interns to con-
tinue as full staff in the company. The responsibilities includes but not limited to accomplishing human resource objectives by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, assigning, scheduling, coaching, counselling, and disciplining employees; communicating job expectations; planning, monitoring, appraising, and reviewing job contributions; planning and reviewing compensation actions; enforcing policies and procedures. Others are to achieve operational objectives by contributing information and recommendations to strategic plans and reviews; preparing and completing action plans; implementing production, productivity, quality, and customerservice standards; resolving problems; completing audits; identifying trends; determining system improvements; implementing change. Still from Also from www. jobberman.com are positions of Business Analyst/ Financial Analyst in an ICT related firm. Some of the responsibilities are to determine operational objectives by studying business functions; gathering information; evaluating output requirements and formats. Designs new computer programs by analyzing requirements; constructing workflow charts and diagrams; studying system capabilities; writing specifications, and improve systems by studying current practices; designing modifications. Others are to maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; benchmarking state-of-the-art practices; participating in professional societies. From www.gulftalent. com, are positions of Electrical engineer who must be ready to live and work in the country. The role for the electrical engineers to join their organisation include but not limited to all electrical work and pay a base salary of between QAR 6000 & 7500 depending on experience. A 10 years commercial experience is part of the requirements with the minimum of a university Degree
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Real Estate & Environment email@example.com 08033312578
Understanding building foundation types to prevent structural failures
A collapsed building at Ikorodu, Lagos.
Foundation is the first stage of building production process. This important stage is often neglected or done shoddily by most homebuilders/ developers, which is heightening the risks of collapsed buildings in Nigeria, especially Lagos State. DAYO AYEYEMI, writes
oundation plays a major role in the production of houses being the starting point of a building construction on site. It is a stage where critical study of the site, the nature of soil, building design and other environmental factors are taken into consideration to ensure structural stability of the building. It is an important stage of the building production process that many homebuilders or local developers take for granted by doing it carelessly, leading to failure of the entire building in the future. In what can be referred to as a case of being penny wise, pound foolish while analysing the huge amount of money spent by their owners to put them in place, many of the houses have now become a source of concern to residents. Rather than providing shelter, comfort and returns on investment, many houses built close to the Third Mainland Bridge on Oworonshoki end in Lagos, have become a drain pipe in the pockets of their owners. Many of them are at the brink of collapse. When National Mirror visited Oworoshonki, most building foundations have already sunk up to window level, with
signs of possible collapse. This, according to experts, portends danger to residents and adjoining property owners if nothing urgent is done to salvage the situation. This scenario is not limited to IyanaOworonshoki, locations such as Iwaya, Ogudu, Bariga and Owode areas have a number of buildings that are sinking. One of the residents at Ilaje Road, Bariga, Mr. Segun Idowu, said the house he lived in has been like that for years, saying the landlord had the intention to
build two floors, but stopped because of the problem. One prophet that built a white garment church in Oworo, said despite the iron formwork he used for the foundation, one side of the building still sunk. For this reason, he said he had decided not build the upper part of the church, blaming poor drainage in the location for the sinking foundation. However, Nigeria, especially Lagos State has witnessed many incidents of collapsed building in recent times; and experts have not stopped to attribute the menace to poor workmanship, use of substandard materials, non engagement of professionals and lack of regulation of the physical development by the appropriate government agencies. Little was mentioned about foundation, which could make or mar the whole production process. Foundation of building as the name implies is the starting of a building construction on site. Types of building, nature of soil and environmental conditions are the major determinants of type of foundation one will use for building. But often times, many home builders in Lagos State neglect these determinants by constructing their structures
without any recourse to soil test and analysis. The bearing pressure of soil is its ability to carry the load of the building without excessive settlement (more than 25 mm). Bearing pressure depends on soil type. It must be assessed at the base of the foundations. Linking incident of collapsed buildings to poor foundation, Chief Executive Officer of Diekolop Konsults Limited, Mr. Olugbenga Adesanya, an environmental expert, said no matter how best the design of a building is, if the foundation is not done properly, it would lead to structural failure. He blamed ignorance on the part of home builders to conduct proper soil test for them to know the characteristics and load bearing capacity of soil for recurrent incidents of collapsed building in the metropolis. He said, â€œIf the foundation is okay at the beginning and the designer designed for two floors, if the owner sells the structure 30 years later to another person, and the new buyer changes the use of the building and the load increases, the foundation will fail.â€? To arrest the situation, Adesanya urged government to insist on proper design at the approval stage by giving the job to registered professionals. Besides, he said government should ensure that what is designed by architects and structural engineers is built to CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Soil types of insufficient bearing pressure S
oil types that have insufficient bearing pressure include peat, sand and expansive clay. Peat: Peat occurs in low-lying areas and consists of compressed dead vegetation that has been preserved from decay by acidic groundwater. Although the surface of the ground can appear stable and dry, peat may be present below the surface in a deep layer that will compress under the weight of a building. If the presence of peat is suspected, consult a soil engineer. The extent and depth of the peat will need to be determined by drilling bore holes. Where there is only a thin layer of peat, it may be able to be removed to expose firmer soil below. Alternatively, a specifically designed raft foundation and floor slab may be needed. Sand: Sands vary in particle size and in compaction, and some types of sand have low bearing capacity. If the soil type is sand, piles driven down to a good bearing layer may be required in conjunction with a concrete slab. Expansive clay: Expansive clay increases significantly in volume when wet and shrinks again when dry. When expansive clay extends a significant depth below the surface and particularly if it occurs at a depth where the water level fluctuates, substantial uplift of the ground’s surface may occur during wet periods, followed by subsidence during a dry period. The amount of uplift will vary according to the clay content of the soil but may be up to 50 mm. Building on a clay soil will affect the ground moisture content and result in a different pattern of expansion and contraction. Moisture content will also be reduced by large paved areas, tree planting and subsoil drainage. If ex-
Strip foundation type
pansive clay is present, consult a structural or geotechnical engineer Fill: If the building site contains areas of fill, whether excavated and relocated on the site or imported from another location, it must comply with NZS 4431:1989 Code of practice for earth fill for residential development. A Code Compliance Certificate should be obtained, but if this is not available, tests must be carried out to determine the bearing capacity of the fill. Generally, fill is unlikely to meet
Understanding building foundation type to avert structural failures CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 avoid foundation failure. Former President of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers, Mr. Kunle Adebajo says, “Most times, a lot of investigations were not done to link collapsed buildings to poor foundation. He affirmed that major cause of building collapse is faulty foundation, adding that the problem of not understanding of types of foundation for different soil formations were responsible for some structural failures. He said, “Some use raft foundation where it is not useful, while some put in place local pile which is not the best as it cannot transfer the load to the appropriate base in the soil.” He urged stakeholders to continue to enlighten the public on the need to conduct soil investigation before embarking on housing construction. “People don’t treat their founda-
tion carefully. Structural engineers must be involved,” he said. Lagos-based civil engineer, Mr Saliu Lawal, emphasised the need for soil test to reveal the soil formation and they type of foundation suitable for it. He said, “Soil test report may reveal raft or pile foundation, but failure to do that is problematic.” He said the major reason why most buildings sink is due to differential settlement, saying it is important to consult qualified engineers before embarking on physical development. Lawal scored Lagos State Government high in the area of building monitoring, saying the exercise would ensure that people build by following due process. The Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory has been set up for this purpose in Lagos and environs while homebuilders are expected to comply.
the required bearing capacity so foundations must pass through the fill down to solid bearing below. Water table: A high water table means the water pressure in the soil is high and that the soil is likely to be correspondingly weaker. High water pressure will also adversely affect the stability of sloping ground and increase the loading on a wall retaining the sloping ground. If the building site is surrounded by areas of higher ground, underground
water will tend to flow to the site. This may cause pressure beneath a concrete floor slab or increased moisture levels beneath a timber floor. It can also cause water to be driven into timber piles. In this situation, subsoil drainage may be necessary. A high water table is likely to mean the construction will be more difficult, and it may be necessary to pump excavations and provide drainage to remove the water, which will generally result in additional costs.
Type of foundations and uses
trip foundation: This is the most common type, it is mainly used where you have strong soil base and non-waterlogged areas. Most small buildings of just a floor are constructed with this type of foundation. Depends on the structural engineers recommendation, the depth of your foundation could be from 600mm to 1200mm mostly for small scale buildings . When the soil is excavated, a level at which the concrete will settle evenly is established, then concrete is poured this may be from 150mm(6”) thick to 450mm(18”) thick depending also on building after that block is set round the trenches at the center of foundation ,the foundation usually follows the block lines. The blocks are then layed to d.p.c level before another concrete is poured on top, this is the german or oversite concrete. This type seems to be the cheapest. Pad foundation: This is where isolated columns (pillars) are casted from the foundation to carry a slab at the top of the ground. This is mostly used when you want to make use of the under of building as parking space or when the
other space is not conducive to have foundation. Imagine you are planning to build a house across a flowing stream and you want a situation where you can use your boat to pass under the building because the stream is under . Then you may not need to dig foundation that will cut across the river but just by applying columns (pillars) at the edge of the river like a bridge, the columns are thus isolated and the foundations are referred to as pad. Raft foundation: This is where you have concrete spread around your building from the base of foundation all through to the german floor/oversite concrete/ground floor slab. It is mainly used in areas where the soil are sandy and loose, you spend more on this than the other previous two most of the time. It is also recommended in waterlogged areas but with buildings of few storeys It has a ground beam which shuts out from the foundation base and is also attached to the ground floor slab to form a network of concrete embedded round the building space. The ground beams are usually from 600mm to 1200mm for low buildings.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Athletes miss Golden League jackpot 30
There is no doubt in my mind that the second coming of Jose will bring good tidings to our club -Chelsea midfielder, Frank Lampard
Sport Minister, Abdullahi
‘FG owes Bash nothing’
Super Eagles midfielder Ogenyi Onazi blasting a shot past a Kenyan opponent in Nairobi last week
Eagles target ‘cushioning win’ in Windhoek
WITH AGENCY REPORT
nother win away to Brave Warriors of Namibia would give Nigeria a more comfortable lead in Group F of the World Cup qualifying round. Nigeria leads the group with eight points after four rounds of matches, two points ahead of second-placed Malawi and could well extend the advantage even before the last game at home against Malawi in September.
FIFA Confederations Cupbound Nigeria beat Namibia 1-0 in the reverse fixture in June, but it was anything but an easy win and it needed the individual brilliance of Ikechukwu Uche to make the difference. Both countries have clashed five times with the Eagles winning all, a feat they would wish to continue with tomorrow at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek. Last week’s goalless draw Namibia recorded against hosts Malawi will be a morale boaster
he Brave Warriors’ charge against Super Eagles has suffered a major blow as the Namibia Coach, Roger Palmgren, sensationally resigned from his job due to issues relating to insecurity, according to reports. The former Kwara United coach quit his job barely five weeks after ascending the Namibian saddle sequel to a colourful career in the South Africa Premier Soccer League where he handled Thanda Royal Zulu FC.
for the Flames to challenge the African champions, but the Nigerians are equally fresh from a hard-fought win in Kenya. The match winner against Kenya Ahmed Musa told MTNFootball.com this encounter is also crucial as they hope to win to keep them on track for a place at next year’s World Cup in Brazil. “We are prepared for that and going for it. We are not taking this game lightly and that informed why we came here straight from Kenya,” said the CSKA Moscow striker said yesterday.
“I will do my best against to get one of the goals, while also playing for the team to win.” Meanwhile, Lazio midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi, has told MTNFootball.com that he is looking forward to victory in Namibia. “World Cup ticket is our target and so this game against Namibia is as important as the previous ones,” the former Golden Eaglet star said. “We are approaching it the same way we have done for our other games and we want to win again.”
Namibia coach, Palmgren, resigns Palmgren told the Namibia Football Association (NFA) that he felt unsafe in Windhoek after an alleged incident in his hotel bar a fortnight ago, where he claimed he was threatened by a fan. He also said he was accosted after Namibia played a goalless draw with Zambia in a warm-up match in May. Palmgren was in charge for the first time in the official game since his appointment last Wednesday as Namibia pulled off an upset goalless draw away in Malawi in a quali-
fier. But he arrived in Blantyre only the day before the match, after his side had already got there, and took charge of a single training session the afternoon before the game. The controversial Swede was reported to have left immediately after the match, fuelling suspicions from the Namibian officials that he was negotiating another offer and could be joining former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson in China. It remains to be seen how the mood in the
he National Sports Commission has rejected the appeals by boxer Bash Ali for funds to prosecute his proposed world title fight. Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who made this assertion in Abuja yesterday, said the boxer’s claim was spurious as he had himself to blame for the predicament that had stalked him. Ali has asked the federal government to sponsor a title fight that will make him the oldest boxer ever; a move that has seen him storm different public offices and a political party secretariat in recent weeks. The minister’s spokesman, Julius Ogunro, said yesterday the ageing pugilist had deployed a queer manner to resolve what seemed complex issue. “He (Ali) appeared to have messed up his life and wants to impose himself on people,” Ogunro said. “He was rude to the Minister and insulted everyone in the office and that’s not how to get favours from government.” Ali had on Thursday caused a stir in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, accosting President Goodluck Jonathan and Minister Abdullahi out of desperation to get government sponsorship for his bid to bring to Nigeria a fight he hopes would make him the oldest world boxing champion in history. The 57-year-old Ali could not restrain himself when he sighted President Jonathan at the Abuja National Stadium where the Nigerian leader was to inaugurate ‘Rhythm N Play, a campaign to get Nigerian youths to engage in sporting activities.
Warriors camp could help absorb the pressure to be mounted by the Eagles who are out to get maximum points off the Namibians.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Leverkusen hands off De Bruyne
Swansea City Manager, Michael Laudrup, is set to have his future at the club decided today. Latest reports said the club management would take an action sequel to the Dane’s criticism of a lack of transfer activity. Laudrup wants the board to move fast and bring in new players ahead of the Europa League campaign which starts on August 1.
ayer Leverkusen squad manager Michael Reschke has said Belgium international Kevin de Bruyne will not be joining the club on loan from Chelsea. Borussia Dortmund, however, believe they remain in the race to sign the 21-year-old, and general manager Michael Zorc has said the club will be talking to the Londoners again. Last week, Zorc had said De Bruyne was only interested in a move to Dortmund. Leverkusen had wanted to include a move for the Belgium international in any transfer of Germany international Andre Schurrle to Chelsea, but admitted defeat at the weekend. “Chelsea and Jose Mourinho have made it clear during a meeting that Kevin will return to Chelsea next season,” Reschke said. “Chelsea does not want to send the player on another loan to any club. The thing is over, sadly. We were not able to link it with an Andre Schurrle transfer.”
Tottenham Hotspur forward, Clint Dempsey, says he enjoys his relationship with the USA football fans. “I was a fan myself growing up and I know what it’s like to be watching the game from the TV and willing your team on and wanting them to do well,” he said. “I like seeing them when I go to games, because they make me happy.”
Sterling tips Reds for CL
PSG Coach, Carlo Ancelotti, is growing tired of his failure to gain a relapse from his contract that will enable him to join Real Madrid. “Carlo is very disappointed with the behaviour of the PSG board,” a source said yesterday. “But there is no possibility Carlo will backtrack, because in his head, Paris is a thing of the past,” the source added.
LA Galaxy midfielder, Landon Donovan, has admitted that the club is relying on Ireland international, Robbie Keane. The Irish struck a hat-trick for the Republic of Ireland against Faroe Islands on Saturday. “Even when Robbie is not scoring in games, he is a threat and something the other team has to worry about and he always plays well for our team,” Donovan said.
Bendtner Arsenal striker, Nicklas Bendtner, has revealed that he had a horrible time at Juventus. Bendtner failed to score a single goal and had numerous injury problems as well as an arrest for drunk-driving. “Even if I was happy with the Bianconeri and made many friends in the team, I have to look forward now,” the 25-year-old said yesterday.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Come get me, Cavani tells Mourinho N apoli striker, Edinson Cavani, yesterday declared that it would be a pleasure to play under new Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho. Cavani, who scored against the Blues for Napoli in the UEFA Champions League last year, reportedly has a £53m buy-out clause, but that has not stopped him from being linked with Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris St-Germain. The Uruguay international is currently preparing for the Confederations Cup in Brazil, where he discussed his future. When asked about the interest of Chelsea and Manchester City, Cavani said: “I don’t know if they made an offer for me, I just know that to be
coached by someone like Jose would always be a pleasure. “When the time is right it would be great to play for him, because when I was a child I imagined doing it but now I am only thinking about Uruguay. In my career I have always had to deal with rumours of me signing for another team and I just have to keep my feet on the ground.” Cavani also talked about working with new Napoli manager Rafa Benitez. “I don’t know, I think there are other factors that could change my future. I have a contract with Napoli but on the other hand there are some conversations but everything is uncertain at the moment,” he further said.
iverpool teenager, Raheem Sterling, has backed a revamped Liverpool to secure Champions League qualification next season. Anfield manager Brendan Rodgers is attempting to bolster his squad by completing deals for Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas and Sporting Lisbon centre-back Tiago Ilori after signing central defender Kolo Toure on a free transfer from Manchester City while also considering moves for Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Schalke’s Greece international defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Sterling feels Liverpool is on the right lines under Rodgers, who guided the side to seventh place in his first season as manager. “We just need to get a good start to next season and hopefully maintain that, and I think we’ve got a good chance of finishing in the top four,” he said yesterday. “I can’t talk any more highly of Brendan as a person, not just as a manager. He’s not one of those who are only interested if you’re playing well at that moment and Liverpool should be really grateful they’ve got a manager like that.”
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eal Madrid mi Luka Modric, in has no intention ing the club this summ reports linking him w sea. It had been sugges Jose Mourinho was e the Croatia internation low him from the Span tal to Stamford Bridge. Modric has prior ex of life in the Premier with Mourinho havin him to Santiago Berna Tottenham Hotspur in 2012. “I’m not even thinki the possibility I could l drid this summer, but interest from other cl said. “Every kid who pl ball dreams about pla Real Madrid. It was t with me. “Of course I was s Jose Mourinho left. He one who insisted in me to Madrid. He is tic coach and I am hon have worked with him.
Wanyama hints Gunners’ switch
eltic midfielder, Victor Wanyama, has said that his agent is in talks with Arsenal. The 21-year-old Kenya international said preliminary talks had began over a prospective move from Scotland to England. “It’s not a good time to talk about this, but right now I still have a contract with Celtic,” Wanyama said yesterday. “I’m still their player. If anything
comes up that is good for me and good for the club, then I’ll move on. “At the moment, there are some things. There are some talks going on with Arsenal. But I was concentrating on national duty and I left that for my agent. But I haven’t talked with him.” Wanyama is currently on 2014 World Cup duty with Kenya who is in Malawi for a Group F qualifier against the Flames tomorrow.
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Why I don’t start for Spain–Mata
Considering his performances in Chelsea this ended season, midfielder Juan Mata will be one of Spain’s players to watch at the FIFA Confederations Cup due this month in Brazil. The 25-year-old versatile player spoke to FIFA.com on his dreams for Spain ahead of World Cup 2014 How do you look forward to Spain’s first game with Uruguay in the FIFA Confederations Cup? I’m feeling very excited for it. I want to experience another Confederations Cup. I’ve been working very hard all season to help make sure things go well. How about the prospect of competing in South America where European players seldom ply their trade? It will be my first time in Brazil and we’ll be playing competitive matches in the Americas–something we’ve not done before. It’ll also be good to know more about the country that’s hosting the World Cup. We’ll get to see what the stadiums are like and have a taste of the atmosphere. Do you feel any opposition awe towards Spain, in view of your achievements in recent years? The main things are the comments people make before a game and sometimes on the pitch during a match too. Spain is enjoying the greatest period in its footballing history and of course our opponents want to knock us off our perch. But it makes us feel proud when we experience this, that playing against us is seen as special. You are an automatic starter at Chelsea but not yet with the national team… I think it’s because there are loads of us who are important players at their clubs, but then only 11 can start in the national team and so the competition is very fierce. But I’ve already enjoyed experiencing three major tournaments and my only goal is to keep being involved.
that the chance to come to this city did make the decision easier. Could you imagine playing for a club in a place you didn’t find interesting? When you’re happy where you’re living you’re more at ease with everything around you and this helps you train, perform and play well. Perhaps towards the end of my career I might be able to pick a club purely on where it’s based. Quadri
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned so far in England? I have learnt being brave enough to take this kind of decision. It would have been easier for me to stay in Spain, but I could sense that I needed a change. I’ve learned about the courage needed to take a decision and, when it comes off, it makes you feel really invigorated. How do you manage to combine your university studies with your football commitments? It’s difficult but not impossible. I like the world of marketing, publicity and new technology and there’s no reason why playing football can’t be compatible with those things. The most important thing in my life right now is my football, but I do expect to finish my degree. I’m not hurrying, but I’m not giving up either.
he three years title search by Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri in the Portuguese table tennis league may be nearing an end after the former African champion inspired GD Toledos to a 4-1 win over defending champion, Sporting Club in the first leg of the playoff final at the weekend. Quadri, who is playing in his third season in the European league, has twice missed out from the title in the final and the 2012 London Olympian believes his latest performance would earn him the elusive title. Playing at home to Sporting, Quadri started the onslaught against the Andre Silva and he succeeded with a 3-1 to give Toledos a 1-0 lead. But Toledos’ lead was halted when Sporting’s Zheng Shun defeated Quadri’s
teammate 3-0. Toledos’ Diogo Silva restored the lead with an excellent win over Ricardo Oliveira, while the pairing of Quadri and Silva increased the lead when they overcame Sporting’s duo of Shun and Silva 3-0. Quadri completed the rout with an outstanding win over Shun after a hard work. “I concluded and ended Sporting hope of coming back into the game by winning Shun in a tough five sets which ended 3-2 after I came from 2-0 down,” the Nigerian said. “But I will not say it is over yet because the second leg will be coming up this week in Lisbon.” Sporting has won it 32 of the 68 league titles while Toledos won it once in season 2010/2011.
Irabor hails Rangers, Heartland
As a well-known footballer, do you still go about London without hassle? I can tell that more people recognise me, perhaps because it’s my second year in London. But the city is so big and also because loads of people don’t follow football, so I can have a more normal life than you might in Spain. You still manage to go about unnoticed, despite your success? Very often I can. I’ll go down to Soho, which I love, or Camden Town, and nobody will recognise me there. I can go into the centre, walk around, go for a stroll and catch public transport without any hassle. Did you choose to play in Chelsea so you could live in London? I made the decision to come here because I wanted to play at a top-level club like Chelsea, one that was in the running for silverware, but it is true
Table/tennis: Quadri inches to title
“Club officials and coaches that have hairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Hon. any misgivings against opponents or refNduka Irabor, has commended erees should channel their complaints to the spirit exhibited by players of Rang- the appropriate authorities rather than ers and Heartland during their Week 17 resort to making disparaging comments game at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, in the media.” Irabor revealed plans to provide incenEnugu at the weekend. tives for good conduct which will reward Rangers won the tie 3-1. It was a spectacle as the players joined teams and fans that are adjudged to have in prayer at the end of hostility to the ad- conformed to expected standards of bemiration of the sparse crowd of specta- haviour. “We expect that matches of the Glo Pretors at the venue. “The show remains the best advertise- mier League will help to build the characment of sportsmanship for the Glo Pre- ter of our players,” he submitted. mier League and the LMC will encourage all the teams to emulate the behaviour and stop seeing football games as a win at all cost affair,” Irabor remarked. “The LMC considers exemplary conduct on and off the field by players and officials of clubs in the Glo Premier League as an integral part of the reform process to reposition league football in the country. “We will continue to encourage club officials to be good ambassadors of the league not only in their conduct during matches but also in their public comLMC boss, Irabor ments on outcome of matches.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
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On the track with
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Ogunkoya highlights Relay gains
frica’s foremost quarter-miller, Falilat Ogunkoya, has said that Nigeria’s best athletes will be part of the subsequent editions of the Warri Relay/ Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Golden grand Prix. The 1996 Atlanta Olympics medallist believes top athletes like Blessing Okagbare, Tosin Oke, among others, will be part of the CAA-sanctioned grand prix that as the tournament expands. With athletes from United States, United Kingdom, Jamaica and other top athletics nations expected at the oneday championship holding in Warri, Delta State, Ogunkoya, described as the biggest on the CAA calendar, while commend-
ing the Delta government for hosting the tournament. “This will also confirm that Nigeria is safe to host any major events. I appeal is to corporate bodies to identify with this event,” she said. The competition is a premium event in the CAA calendar, which has such ‘A’ grade events as the Men 100 metres, and 400 metres races. For the women, there are the 100m, 400m, and 400m Hurdles, while the classic events for Men include 5000m, Javelin, and Long Jump. There are also the women100 metres Hurdles, High Jump, Long Jump events to be competed for. Apart from the premium and classic events, there are also such promotional events as the 110m hurdles, 3000m Steeple Chase, 4x100m & 4x400m for men and the women 800m, 5000m, 4x100m & 4x400m.
Obisesan targets improvement
igeria’s record holder in the women’s hammer throw, Queen Obisesan has set sights on improving on her new record as the All-Nigeria/Cross River State Athletics Championships beckon. Obisesan, whose former record stood at 61.75m, established a new one (subject to ratification) when she threw a distance of 63.79m two weeks ago during the final leg of the Solid Works/ Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League two weeks ago. The national trials are scheduled to hold in Calabar from June 19 to 21 and Obisesan says she can only get better. “My target is to go there and do my best,” she said. “I didn’t know I was going to break the record; I only wanted to do my best and to see how well it went and I am happy it went well. “I was especially pleased that the Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, was there to commend our efforts and the
weather was so clement. Despite her performance, Obisesan would have to throw 72.00m to make the ‘A’ qualifiying standards for the World Championships, or at least 69.50m which is the ‘B’ mark. But the athlete said she would not stop working hard. “At the end of the season I want to look back and see how well I have improved based on my programme,” she further said.
Queen Obisesan (middle) after her recent feat in Ilorin
he 4x100m men’s relay team will face the herculean task of qualifying for the forthcoming World Athletics Championships when the 2013 Warri Relays/ Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Golden Grand Prix takes off this weekend. The team made up of Adetoyi Durotoye, Nicholas Imhaoperamhu, Chukwuma Onyeaku and Jonathan Nmaju need to hit a time of 39.20secs to qualify for Moscow 2013 which is scheduled to hold from August 10 to 17 in Russia.
Athletes competing during a domestic meet. Omatseye Nesiama (below) says they will enjoy AFN’s support
Athletes miss Golden League jackpot
ollowing the conclusion of the Solid Works/Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League two weeks ago, no athlete has been considered worthy to receive the N2million prize at the beginning of the season. Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Navy Comodore Omatseye Nesiama, said none of the competitors met the standards required to claim the prize, even as only four of the five scheduled legs were held, following the protests of athletes during the second leg held in Benin, Edo State. “To compensate some of them for their efforts in the botched leg, we have given them some slots in the Grand Prix which is even higher,” Nesiama explained. “The jackpot has to do with consistent performance based on points and that was not achieved. Athletes that have done well now have the opportunity to progress.” The AFN chief rubbished claims by some of the athletes that the AFN lacked funds to organize the events. “If there was no money, we wouldn’t have organised the competition or the Grand Prix. All we
want is for them to be serious with their training and perform. “Hammer thrower, Queen Obisesan, and two others have been registered for a meet in Dakar because we made it a point of duty to reward athletes that have performed irrespective of whether the feat was achieved in the Golden League or not. They are now continental hot cakes because of their performances, not necessarily because of the Golden League. The athletes should do their part and at the right time we would recognize them as well.” According to Nesiama, athletes selected to represent Nigeria at the 11th African Junior Championships will remain in camp despite the withdrawal of South Africa’s hosting rights by the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA).
Members of Team Nigeria were selected last week in preparation for the championship which was initially slated to hold from June 27 to 30 in Pretoria, South Africa. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASOC) had earlier suspended ASA president James Evans and the entire ASA board in April and appointed Zola Majavu as interim ASA administrator. However the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) does not recognize the present board, leading to the withdrawal of the hosting rights. “We are waiting for a final word from the IAAF because two countries, Mauritius and Ghana are bidding to host,” Nesiama further said. “Ghana is asking us for some technical support and assistance and we are still deliberating with them if they are prepared to meet certain conditions. Our athletes are already peaking but if it is pushed till the end of August, they will be destabilised having spent time preparing. “Mauritius is bidding for the end of August, which is also not favourable for us.”
Moscow 2013: Men’s relay team eyes standard The athletes camped in Warri will face a stiff competition from other teams, as athletes from the US, Great Britain, Ghana, Morocco and other countries are expected to feature in the one-day meet. A member of the team who craved anonymity disclosed that qualification is a do or die for the team, saying the athletes would not wish to miss out on the trip. “We are preparing for the relays and have
been training very hard for it,” the athlete said, adding, “There is pressure on us to qualify even though it isn’t coming from the federation.” The failure of the men’s 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams to meet the qualifying standards of the London 2012 Games was considered unfortunate, after eight of a total of 13 medals won in athletics at the Olympics came from the relays.
Nicholas Imhaoperamhu is among the athletes due for Russia
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Real Estate & Environment
1.3bn tonnes of food wasted every year –FAO STORIES: DAYO AYEYEMI
... Fashola cautions Lagosians on food wastage
ccording to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), every year, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of subSahara Africa. Worst still, one out of seven people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of five die daily from hunger. Speaking on the need to stop food waste during the celebration of 2013 World Environment Day in Lagos, Governor Babatunde Fashola said the above scenario, in his opinion, was unacceptable, unfair and harsh on posterity, saying the staggering amount of food waste in the state would no longer be tolerated. He pointed out that the habit of food wastage constitutes huge drain to the state’s resources, especially when food crisis still looms in some parts of the world. To effectively curb wastage of food, the governor charged residents to be rational in making choice of the food they buy and consume to avoid needless food wastage. The theme of this year’s celebration is entitled, “Think. Eat. Save.” The governor explained that the impact of the food waste was not just financial, but also environmental. He said it has been established beyond doubt that climate change would affect agriculture, particularly food production, adding that the flooding of 2012 across Nigeria has shown the damage that could be wrought from climate change. “Food wastage leads to squandering of resources such as fertilizers, pesticides and fuel used for transportation. The fast amount food going to landfills, thus creating more methane, makes a significant contribution to the global warming,” Fashola stated. The governor was represented by his Deputy, Princess Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire. The state Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the celebration marked the beginning of the process of cultivating the habit of
L-R:Wife of late Professor Emmanuel Asuquo Obot, Emma; his sister Edu; his sons, Daniel, and Asuquo, Chairman Fund Raising and Awareness Committee of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), and Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi at the launching of Obot’s Orchids Collection Centre in Lagos, last week
reducing food waste in different home fronts in order to reap the maximum benefits of saving money, minimising the environmental impact of food production, thereby bringing efficiency into food production processes. According to him, the day’s event would make immense impact if people endeavour to deliberately choose organic food items with less negative environmental impact. He enjoined Lagosians to eat less of tin and canned food flown across the air, land and sea in order to limit emissions. Meanwhile, according to the study released last week in Mongolia, global host of WED 2013, the world will need about 60 percent more food calories in 2050 compared to 2006 if global demand continues on its current trajectory. Halving current rates of food loss and waste, say the authors, would reduce this gap by a fifth. This would also result in major savings in water
use, energy, pesticides and fertilizers, and would be a boost for global food security. According to new analysis on “Reducing Food Loss and Waste which was produced by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and draws on research from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one out of every four calories produced by the global agricultural system is being lost or wasted. This poses a serious challenge to the planet’s ability to reduce hunger and meet the food needs of a rapidlyexpanding global population. The new working paper, Reducing Food Loss and Waste, shows that more than half of the food lost and wasted in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia occurs close to the fork, at the consumption stage. By contrast, in developing countries, about two-thirds of the food lost
NCF launches Obot Orchids Centre
he Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has launched an Orchids Centre in commemoration of the memory of its former Executive Director, Professor Emmanuel Obot. The hub, christened “Obot Orchids Centre, consist of his personal collections of lower plants (orchids, epiphyte and ferns) all around the world. Speaking, the acting Executive Director, NCF, Mr Alade Adeleke, said the Foundation would do everything to keep the memory of Professor Obot alive. “We will ever cherish his legacy, hard work and commitment to nature conser-
vation. He remained ever in our mind. One of the ways of keeping his memory alive is setting up this Orchids Centre, which is a collection of Professor Obot works.” The Orchids Collection Centre which has been put together with effort and support of Adeleke, is located within the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC) facility and will provide an opportunity for school children guests and visitors to learn from the arrays of lower plant species and populate the mini arboretum with other identifiable species that can be sourced locally.
Pocadots Ltd, the plant flower exhibitor within the LCC facility has also volunteered to assist in the future beautification and propagation of the species in the centre. Widow of Professor Obot, Emma, described her husband as a man who worked tirelessly and fearlessly to make life meaningful to all. She said, “His simplicity and hard work had always amazed me. He talked less but communicated well to me and the children. He was simply passionate about what he did and it pushed me and the children to aspire to greater things.”
and wasted occurs close to the farm, after harvest and storage. “Beyond all the environmental benefits, reducing food loss and waste will save money for people and companies,” said Craig Hanson, Director of WRI’s People & Ecosystems Program and a co-author of the study. “The world needs urgent solutions to feed its growing population and reducing loss and waste is a critical piece toward a more sustainable food future.” “It is an extraordinary fact that in the 21st century, close to 25 per cent of all the calories linked with growing and producing food are lost or wasted between the farm and the fork—food that could feed the hungry, food that has required energy, water and soils in a world of increasing natural resource scarcities and environmental concerns including climate change,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director.
She expressed her gratitude to NCF and to those present on the launching of the Orchids Centre. “This is what my husband has always loved to do. He was so passionate about these orchids. I know if he was alive he would have love to see this.” Late Obot was a professor of botany, a renowned Orchid specialist with expertise in use of Geographical Information System (GIS) applications. He was a former Chairman of BirdLife’s Council for the Africa Partnership (CAP), Co – Chair, IUCN Commission on Environmental Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), Member, IUCN Working Group on Extractive Industry and Biodiversity (WGEIB), and Member, IUCN Orchid Survival Group
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
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Organising your living spaces Many people try to copy what’s trendy rather than trusting their own personal style when decorating their home. Experts at www.boconcept.us/living-spaces, say you should trust your instincts when selecting your home interior for following these tips
ix small easily moveable pieces with more permanent cornerstones and make it easy to rearrange your living room according to the situation. Make room for conversation: Two comfortable chairs around a small table is the perfect spot for great conversation. Choose the same colour and material for both chairs so they work as a couple in harmony. Organize your possessions Put the things you need most often at the bottom of your wall system for easy access. Remember to leave open space for personal objects and hide the clutter behind doors. Low look, high comfort: Prefer the
low, horizontal look of a sofa, but find it hard to relax? Go for a sofa with adjustable headrests. Now, you don’t have to compromise on look or comfort. Cushions will do the trick. They can revive any sofa. I like to mix and match different patterns and materials. As long as you stick to the same tones of colour, you can’t go wrong. End all discussions about the best spot for relaxing. Now you can have sofas with extra large seating modules, so there is room for the whole family. Graphic patterns and strong colours in the same tone will revive your room. Mix it with a bit of wood and white, and you will still have a mature look. 4Hide your living essentials
GRAPHIC PATTERNS AND STRONG COLOURS IN THE SAME TONE WILL REVIVE YOUR ROOM. MIX IT WITH A BIT OF WOOD AND WHITE A coffee table with tabletops that can be lifted into perfect position for dining and working will also provide storage for your living room essentials.
If you have the room and the book collection, consider making your books an inspiring and decorative part of your living space.
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Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Stakeholders call for regional efforts to reduce disasters OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
takeholders in the environment sector across the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), have called for a stronger regional mechanism that would help in stemming the prevalence of disasters within the region. The call came against the backdrop of the preponderance of disasters occurrence among the ECOWAS countries and their attendant cost both in terms of human and material. Speaking at the 2013 Annual Consultation of the Regional Committee for Disaster Management in West Africa (GECEAO) in Abuja, the Director General, National Emergency Management agency (NEMA), Mr. Mohammad Sani-Sidi, said the call became necessary in view of the weak capacity for adaptation among the countries in the West Africa sub-region.The forum rallies civil protection, disaster management authorities and National Cross and Red Crescent Societies together every year to examine the major risks that disasters pose to West Africa and to proffer useful suggestions on how to mitigate them.Apart from evolving strong national mechanism for disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness, Sani Sidi added that, “It has become necessary for the ECOWAS nations to work towards building regional drought
Flooded road in Lagos
and rescue platforms that will enhance our cooperation on effective and sustainable emergency management.”The NEMA boss also noted that it was lamentable that unlike in the developed nations where proportional losses due to disasters had declined considerably, people in the developing countries,
Estate surveyors encouraged to form mega firms DAYO AYEYEMI
n order to encourage mega practice of the profession to meet international best practices, as it is currently practised in allied professions like Law and Accountancy, the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON), said it has formulated guidelines to guide the formation of mega firms with pseudonyms among estate surveying and valuation companies. The formulated guidelines, the Chairman of ESVARBON, Mr. Ayodele Sangosanya disclosed during the induction of 107 new members to the fold of the profession in Lagos at the weekend, have been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, for gazetting. He said the board has approved the use of pseudonym for persons who desire to practised estate surveying and valuation with name other than family name. The formation of mega firms among estate surveying and valuation practitioners’ companies is to allow them compete favourably for big projects as it is being done abroad. Sangosanya stated that the essence of inducting more persons into the profession was to substantially reduce the nefarious activities of quacks in the field of estate surveying and valuation in Nigeria. The induction of additional 107 new persons by ESVARBON into the fold brings the total registered estate survey-
ors and valuers in the country to 3,119. He explained to the inductees that the stamps, seals and certificates being awarded them were properties of the board and that it reserves the right to withdraw the items at any time, if abused. He urged the inductees that the rules and regulations of the board must be guided as their violation would not be tolerated. “Therefore, the ethics and ethos of the profession should be carefully guarded by all and sundry,” Sangosanya said. The chairman of ESVARBON admonished the inductees, saying integrity remains the hallmark of success of every professional, so it should be consciously protected with the fear of God. He assured that the present management of ESVARBON would continue to find ways and means of producing more registered estate surveyors and valuers as quickly as possible without lowering standards. He said the focus of the board is to substantially reduce the nefarious activities of quacks by registering many qualified professionals in the country. According to him, the board has put requisite machinery in place, in collaboration with the relevant law enforcement agencies, to check the spread of pseudo practice and bring to book culprits found guilty of the offence. He said, “It is worthy to stress here that the board has instituted actions in courts against quacks who would not heed its warnings.”
especially the ECOWAS nations, were still increasingly vulnerable.Underscoring the imperative of forming regional synergy, the Environment Minister, Mrs. Hadza Mailafia who declared the 3-Day meeting open, noted that since most disasters that occurred within the West African countries were trans-border, it beheld on the regions to close ranks with a view to jointly addressing them. She said,” Most of the hazards starring at the West Africa sub-region are Trans border in nature and are better addressed through cooperation and coordination among concerned countries.” The minister appealed to the stakehold-
ers to come up with mechanism that would help in disaster reduction across the continent. “My clarion call is for this forum to find ways and means of providing a mechanism for regional risk assessment, mitigation, preparedness and response. Governments in the sub-region should therefore, consider integrating risk prevention and mitigation in its policies, programmes and interventions. Disaster related management actions must in all cases aim at strengthening capacities and resilience of households and communities to protect their lives and livelihoods.
Ofada-Mowe- Ibafo Road will be completed before December 2014 – Ogun commissioner DAYO AYEYEMI
f everything goes according to plans, the construction of Ofada – Mowe– Ibafo Road in Obafemi /Owode Local Government Area embarked by the Ogun State Government would be completed by the last quarter of 2014, the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, has assured. The state government has commenced works on the 29-kilometre Ofada-MoweIbafo Road in order to reduce hardship faced by motorists and residents of the area. The commissioner, who made this known during an inspection visit to the road, explained that when completed, the road would be another giant stride of the government to create link roads in different parts of the state. He affirmed that the road would help link residents living along Owode, Ofada, Mowe and Ibafo with other parts of the state. According to him, the road project being handled by Central South Construction Company would be reconstructed into a six lane carriage way “Ogun Standard” road with accessories like median, streetlights, walkways, green belt and full drainage provided on both sides.
Describing it as another fulfilment of Governor Amosun’s pledge to give people living in the border areas a sense of belonging through provision of sustainable facilities, the commissioner enjoined them to also perform their expected civic responsibilities by ensuring regular and proper payment of taxes and levies into government coffers in order to embark on more projects for their benefit. “Without doubt, you will agree with me that this a fulfilment of another electioneering campaign promise. Let me therefore appeal to our people that since government has been doing its best to make living more comfortable for them, the onus is on them to ensure regular and appropriate payment of their taxes into government’s coffers in order to have sufficient funds to embark on more developmental projects, of course for their use, ” Adegbite stated. Speaking in an interview on the road construction, two residents of the area, Messrs Igwe John and Sulaimon Bolaji lauded Senator Amosun’s government for coming to their aid, saying they are happy to feel government’s presence in their area for the first time in decades. They appealed for quick completion of the road project as well as accelerated payment of compensation to owners of properties affected by the project.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
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FG bemoans poor sanitation facilities in urban centres OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he Federal Government yesterday raised the alarm over dearth of sanitation facilities in the country, stressing that lack of good sanitary system such as toilets and clean water constituted major challenges, particularly to the people living in the cities in Nigeria. Minister of Environment, Mrs Hadza Mailafia who spoke in Abuja during a Road Walk in commemoration of this year’s World Environment Day, enjoined all Nigerians to imbibe good practices to achieve a healthy environment. In the arduous task to ensure environmental sustainability, the minister added that her ministry was poised to working with other relevant government agencies to ensure that public toilets are put across cities in Nigeria. She said, “All over our urban cities, you find that there is inadequacy of sanitation facilities such as toilet and clean water. That underlines the theme of today’s 2013 WED, which is “Think, Eat and Save.”“When you think properly, you find that even the waste people dump on the roadside is actually wealth they are throwing away because you are supposed to recycle whatever you leave over, whether in your homes or in your offices. You can recycle paper, you can recycle everything; from wood to plastic and glasses. Mailafia, who said no one was exempted
Makoko, a slum community in Lagos
in the task to build a sustainable environment, insisted all Nigerians must respect and be willing to obey all environmental regulations. “What you have seen in some parts of the roads are testimony to character and attitude. And this is what we have often emphasised that before now during the military, we have the WAI. We are in a de-
mocracy now and everybody is enjoying it because there is nothing as good as democracy, there is nothing as good as freedom but that freedom should end where it interfaced with your health or other people’s health. “You don’t need to be coerced; if you own a shop, you don’t need anyone to tell you to buy a dustbin and you don’t need anyone to tell you to evacuate
We ‘re not responsible for poor telephone network –NESREA OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
he National Environmental Standards Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has denied involvement in the poor telephone network currently being experienced by Nigerians. The denial was made against the backdrop of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, NATCOMS’ accusation that the agency’s indiscriminate closure of telecoms base stations across the country was responsible for the poor service network. NATCOMS in a statement by its President Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo, had said, “It is rather unfortunate that the NESREA under the leadership of Dr. Ngeri Benebo is over stepping its bounds once again, disturbing the Telecoms industry by sealing base stations.” But the agency in a statement by its Consultant, Mr. Albert Airewele said that it was mischievous for anyone to link the agency with the poor service. He said,” NESREA has never had anything to do with poor service in the telecommunication sector. Rather, recent newspaper reports indicate that unreliable electricity supply, vandalisation of facilities and installations have been a major headache. These are more or less perceived to be responsible for deteriorating services.
Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafa
Advising Nigerians not to take the association serious, Airewele noted that it was in a bid to conceal their frustration and failure to meet the yearnings of Nigerian telephone subscribers that they resulted to blackmail and subterfuge. He explained that the responsibility of the agency is to enforce environmental compliance in doing business
across the sectors of the Nigerian economy, adding that it had been doing so without infringing on the rights of the people, contrary to NATCOMS’ unwarranted and unsubstantiated accusation. According to him, the reckless allegation coming at a time all hands are expected to be on deck to achieve the transformation agenda of the present administration is not only laughable, but also utterly irresponsible. Airewele explained,” For the avoidance of doubt,NESREA enforces strict regulators aimed at improving environmental and public health of Nigerians. Under the leadership of Dr. Mrs Ngeri Benebo, necessary steps have been taken to add value to service delivery in nearly every sector the agency regulates and the beauty of their actions has been such that the fundamental rights and tenets of their targets are often respected. “This is why sufficient avenues are exploited not to trample on individual’s rights such as employing compliance visits, repeated warnings and abatement notices, spanning over three months before sanctions are applied as a last resort. NESREA is humane, caring and at all times concerned with health and safety standards of Nigerians. Besides, NESREA employs collaboration,partnership and enduring level of dialogue in relating with the members of the public.”
the trash. So it is all about attitude, it is all about the concept of character. People need to change their attitude towards the environment, people need to change their character; there is a need to respect laws and comply with the laws that regulate this without being coerced to do that. That is what makes the human being complete. This is our hope and message,” she said.
‘Abuse of underground water, cause of terminal diseases’ MURITALA AYINLA
he Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola yesterday hinged the increased rate of terminal illnesses in the country on constant abuse of underground water by the residents. He urged Lagosians, especially industrialists and manufacturers, to desist from environmental pollution. Fashola, who raised concern that diseases such as kidney problem, cancer, diabetes and other terminal illness were not prevalence in the country in the past, lamented that the negligence and care-free attitude of Nigerians toward the environment had turned some citizens to ‘fund seekers’ for surgeries and other medical attention abroad. He decried the rate at which people urinate and defecate the environment indiscriminately, saying the generation unborn stands a greater risk if the attitude is not changed. He said, “ In a few years time, your children will be drinking water containing some of your own urine and waste, so we need to stop all these attitudes. When a government comes up and says stop this, that government is your friend, that’s why you need to understand when we say stop polluting the ground water, stop dumping refuse in water bodies, it will come back to hurt us”.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
FAAN, airlines disagree over touting at Lagos Airport The issue of touting has been in the Nigerian aviation industry for decades without any concrete solution for resolving the menace. Some of the touts work in collaboration with airlines’ staff to hoard tickets and jack up airfares for desperate passengers. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.
he Aviation industry globally is expected to be serene, well coordinated and with high security network to ensure safe and secure environment for airport users and aircraft, but the Nigerian environment may have some way to go in meeting all the standards as touts and touting activities have taken the centre stage in most of the country’s airports. From the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, NAA, Abuja, Port Harcourt Airport, PHA, Port Harcourt to the Aminu Kano Airport, AKA, Kano and other less viable airports in the country, the story is the same. Touts roam free at international airports with ease and they are ignored by security operatives attached to the airports. This is however more pronounced at the Lagos Airport most especially the newly remodeled General Aviation Terminal, GAT. This menace has been in the industry for long and all efforts proffered by the airport landlord, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and the industry regulator, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, have been fruitless over the years. But in the long run, the airlines are the ultimate losers as touts in collaboration with the airline staff, collude to reduce the load factor of the airline. While a desperate passenger would be told that the flight was full to squeeze out some additional money to buy ticket from a tout, on boarding the same “full flight,” half of the seats are almost empty. Some, who could not afford the extra money on ticket, either approach another airline or wait for the next flight to get to their destinations. Besides, there are accusations and counter-accusations between airline operators and FAAN on who the touts work for. While the airlines in most cases point accusing fingers at the Aviation Security, AVSEC, a department in FAAN as encouraging touting and actually work with them, FAAN on the other hand say most of the touts seen around the airports are agents of the airlines, who collaborate with their counter staff to hoard tickets and re-sell at exorbitant rates to desperate travellers. The event at GAT of the Lagos Airport on Friday, May 31, 2013 further gave credence to the fact that touting has taken over the entire airport. For instance, National Mirror was at the terminal in the early hours of the day and observed several unwholesome practices between airline staff and touts
IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT THE AIRPORT FACILITIES DO NOT BELONG TO ARIK. IT IS A FAAN FACILITY AND SO, WE DON’T CONTROL SECURITY IN ANY OF THE AIRPORTS WE FLY INTO. WHAT WE CAN DO IS TO APPEAL TO THE AGENCIES TO RE-ENFORCE THE SECURITY THEY HAVE IN THOSE PLACES at the airport. A particular female passenger with air ticket had attempted to get a boarding pass from a counter staff of an airline (names withheld), only to be told by the staff on duty that she was late for the flight and that the boarding gate was already closed for that particular flight. All entreaties to the counter staff did not yield any result as the staff told her point blank that there was nothing she could do about her situation. The passenger who was desperate to fly out of the airport looked hapless and perplexed, but without any option other than to buy another ticket or return home. However, few minutes later, a young man in a reflector jacket approached her and promised to get her a boarding pass for the same flight only if she could part with the sum of N2,800. The passenger quickly brought out the money and within two minutes, the boarding pass was handed over to her and she boarded the same aircraft despite the fact that “the boarding gate was closed due to her lateness.” It was discovered out later that the young man who offered her the boarding pass was a tout at the airport who works in collaboration with some of the airline staff at the terminal. National Mirror observed another scenario on the same day; a traveller who was desperate to jet out of Lagos to Abuja for a 13:00 flight secured his ticket from a tout at 12:55pm and flew with the airline immediately.
The passenger had initially approached Arik Airlines counter for the same flight, but was told by the staff on duty that the flight was full and would soon take off from the terminal in a few minutes. He was advised to wait for its 15:30 flight to the same destination, but surprisingly, after approaching a tout at the terminal, the passenger secured the 13:00 flight, but at the ridiculous rate of N39,000 for an hour flight! These and more are examples of different types of touting taking place in the country’s airports regularly with failed efforts from agencies, companies, stakeholders and professionals to stop the immoral act. Speaking on the issue, the spokesman for Arik Air, Mr. Ola Adebanji said that touting at the airport is beyond any airline in the country. Adebanji explained that it would be virtually impossible for the airlines to eliminate touting at the airports because security at the airport is not in the hands of the airlines, but that of FAAN. He, however, said that in a bid to curb the menace, Arik Air for instance, has over the years embarked on several enlightenment campaigns in the media, warning passengers against patronising touts. In addition, he said the airline has opened several ticket outlets in the country for passengers to book and purchase tickets for their journey, but while not agreeing that the war against touting has failed, it is obvious that rather than
deplete, touting the act is on the increase in all the airports especially the busy ones. He further noted that most of the passengers out of desperation encourage touting and approach them for assistance, stressing that if a passenger books early, arrives the airport early for tickets and boarding pass, touting would reduce. He noted that many of its staff caught in the act had been dismissed by the management and urged the travelling public to report any staff who indulges in the act to the management for proper sanctioning. He said, “The issue of touting is beyond any airline in Nigeria, but we’ve put so many measures in place to put this in check. For instance, we have opened a lot of outlets where passengers can buy their tickets because we know that touting thrives when passengers are desperate. How can you stop desperation as a passenger? That is why we opened a lot of sales outlets all around Lagos and beyond. “Two, we have advised passengers to always try and book for their flights before they come to the airport. On our part, we want to drive people away from the airport and by the time you do this, this congestion will not be there and touts will not have anything to do at the airport because before you come here, you already have your ticket. “Also, it is important to know that the airport facilities do not belong to Arik. It is a FAAN facility and so, we don’t control security in any of the airport we fly into. What we can do is to appeal to the agencies to re-enforce the security they have in those places. “On punishment, I can’t tell you the number of staff we have dismissed for the act, but one thing I can tell you is that whenever they are caught, they are dismissed immediately. That is another way we discourage our staff from colluding with touts.” Also speaking on behalf of FAAN, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Yakubu Dati said that the agency is waging war against touting within the airport environment, but and Adebanji, he blamed the air passengers for encouraging and patronising touts. According to Dati, in a bid to eliminate the act, FAAN has put in place lots of security personnel in plain clothing at strategic places at the airports and challenged the airlines to monitor their staff against colluding with touting. He said, “As we always advice, people should book ahead, get to the airport on time and do whatever they have to do rightly. If you don’t do whatever you have to do at the right time, touts will take advantage of you. “However, by the time we finish the ongoing remodeling of the airports, there will not be any room for touts at the airports. When the facilities are expanded, those without any tangible business at the airport will not have a place to operate. Also, we have discovered that most of the touts at our airports work with the ticketing officers of the airlines. Without them, touting will not thrive.”
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Global aviation industry earns $3bn from cargo exportation –FAAN STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has said that airports all over the world earn at least $3bn annually from cargo exportation, but decried that Nigeria despite the high agricultural produce is yet to tap into this resources. The agency however said that in a bid for the country to close the gap, the Federal Government through its transformational agenda is constructing five cargo terminals within the existing airports in the country. The Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. George Uriesi said these last week during the 19th annual seminar of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents, LAAC, held at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos. Uriesi who was represented by the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati explained that most farmers around the world get their farm produce to international market in a jiffy. He lamented that only 30 per
MD FAAN, George Uriesi
cent of farm produce in the country are consumed while the remaining 70 per cent are either underpriced or perish due to the inability of the farmers to get the products to the consumers. He said, “For instance, if you look critically during the valentine season, Israel alone made over a $1m in terms of exporting roses to Europe and America. Kenya here exports pineapples to the international world. Same thing goes to countries like Mexico that got palm oil from here, today, they are exporters. We are
producing, we are not exporting. From the figures we got from the Ministry of Finance, we only consume 30 per cent of what is produced in Nigeria. The remaining 70 per cent, some go in waste, underpriced, perished during movement from one location to the other. “So, aviation is trying to come in and try to coordinate such that a farmer will have a point by which he can bring his products and be flown abroad. This is the only country where you can farm round the year, where we don’t have these natural disasters. These products are available, but we have not created the market and by the time you create that market, farmer in village in Sokoto can take his farm produce to Europe the next day fresh. “If our products have the access to international market, they would be the ones on the top shelf because they are natural most of the time; we don’t have too many of these combinations. The cargo terminal is to enhance both perishable and non-perishable cargoes so that they will be able to have access to the rightful place.”
Jordanian carrier, Peacock collaborate on pilgrimage flights
he Jordanian carrier, Royal Air Jordanian Airlines is collaborating with a Nigeria’s travel management company, Peacock Travels Limited, to inaugurate holy pilgrimage flights to Jordan. The partnership, which was signed recently between both firms, grants the travel management company the exclusive right to handle this year’s holy pilgrimage package to and from Jordan. An online statement signed by the Group Executive Chairman, Peacock Travels & Tours Limited, Mr. Segun Philips says that the partnership will help to build a relationship and network between Nigerians and Jordanians, among other numerous benefits. He added that the company was glad to seal the partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Jordanian carrier. The statement stated that, the package will allow prospective pilgrims to experience Jordan Holy land from 5th to 10 July, 2013, adding that the package include hotel accommodation, visa to Jordan, flight tickets, entrance fees to tour sites, transportation for D1/2/4, health insurance, and bed & breakfast. The statement reads in part, “The Jordan Valley has profound meaning for religious travellers. The old and new testament places
L-R: Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria, Dr. Steve Mahonwu, GM, Corporate Communications, Nigeria Aviation Handling Company Ltd, Mr. Sanya Onayoade and representative of the MD/CEO, Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Engr. Adegorite Muyiwa at the 19th Annual Seminar of the League of Airport & Aviation Correspondents (LAAC), held yesterday at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja. Lagos recently.
recorded in the bible are still found here. River Jordan should ring a bell to all Christians because a reputable army was cured after dipping himself in this river and also Jesus as baptised in the same river. “The only sea in the world that doesn’t have any aquatic animal too is in Jordan (Dead sea), it also has one of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world.” Meanwhile, Peacock Travels says it has introduced a new summer travel package that enables prospective summer travellers pay for their summer trip in three installments. The summer package, called
Peacock Travel With Ease-Pay Easy Agreement, is designed to help summer vacationers pay for their summer trip without much financial burden. Philips said this package allows a customer to make all travel arrangements with the convenience of advance and instalment payments before the Travel date. “Customer shall pay 50% of the total cost as first Installment, subsequent and final Installment Payments shall be 25% and 25% respectively within a mutually agreed period before travel date. By so doing, the passenger saves 30% of total fare,” the statement said.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Airside email@example.com 08186007273
Still on Dana and AIB interim report
ast week’s release of the interim report on Dana Air crash of June 3, 2012 by the industry investigators, the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, was short of industry’s expectations. Sometime last year, AIB released what it called preliminary report on the same crash and its report was widely accepted by the players in the industry including the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO. According to ICAO standards and recommended practices, investigating state is expected to release to the public the steps it has taken 12 months after the accident if it has not concluded its investigation before the remembrance of any crash, but unfortunately, the agency did not come out
with anything new. Looking at the earlier report, stakeholders and experts in the industry expected an improvement on what AIB presented, but they were all disappointed with its so called interim report. Airside observed that the interim report released to the public last week by AIB was not so different from its earlier report. In fact, some aspects of the latest report were copied word for word. This is a glaring evidence of incompetence on the part of the management of AIB and it shows the agency went to sleep for almost 12 months after the crash. Does this mean that those who lost their souls in the crash died in vain? It is unfortunate that we are where we are in this industry.
Arik Air introduces new online check-In for passengers
rik Air said it has introduced a new online check-in service to further boost its passenger experience. The airline stated that the service is aimed at customers who want a streamlined travel experience by reducing queuing times at the airport, especially for those travelling without check-in baggage. The new online checkin system is introduced on the airline’s international routes; Johannesburg, London and New York as well as some major locations in the domestic market like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. An online statement signed by the airline’s spokesman, Mr. Ola Adebanji stated that the new service is designed to provide custom-
ers with the ability to checkin from 24 hours to 3 hours before their flights, select their seats and print a boarding pass. Adebanji added that passengers with baggage to check-in can still check-in online and proceed to the check-in counters at the airport for baggage drop and standard security checks. Adebanji stressed that full network coverage of domestic and regional locations would be progressively rolled out in the coming months and urged guests to visit its website for full details of the online check-in service. He said, “The addition of an online check-in service is part of a raft of online initiatives that Arik Air is introducing to enhance its online offering and customer experience.”
Etihad Airways offers discounted fares to Mastercard users in Nigeria
he national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, has announced a 15 per cent offer discount on the airline’s standard published fares if they use their MasterCard when purchasing tickets on the airline’s website. The airline said that the offer, which began on June 3, 2013 will run through August 3, 2013 and passengers can book online through the airline’s website www.etihad. com/mcn. An online statement send
by the airline’s media agent in Nigeria stated that the promotion is available to both MasterCard credit and debit card holders, and is exclusive to the Nigerian market only. A roundtrip or one-way ticket in Pearl Business Class using a MasterCard card will be discounted by 15 per cent, while Coral Economy Class travellers will receive a 10 per cent discount on the airline’s standard listed fares, adding that all travel must be completed by December 10, 2013.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Increase in brokers’ licensing fees to implode insurance sector The decision by the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM) to raise the annual licensing fees of insurance brokers may yet spell more challenges for both the sector and consumers of insurance products and services, writes MESHACK IDEHEN.
or the insurance industry in general, and insurance brokers in particular, analysts and observers said these indeed may not be the best of times for the sector. This assumption is coming from stakeholders at a time other experts say the sector; underperforming as it is, is still finding the opportunities to gravitate into more potentially explosive directions. In the latest potential crisis threatening to hit the insurance sector, is that the industry regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has recently raised licensing fees payable by brokers from N1m to N2.5m annually, a situation that has led the latter accusing NAICOM of deliberate ploy to run them out of business, amongst other complaints. Insurance analyst and Former Director of City Insurance Brokers Limited, Mr, Benjamin Osamuyi, told National Mirror he is wondering if the regulators did wide and proper consultation with relevant stakeholders in the industry, before deciding to increase the annual fees. Explaining that this latest action of NAICOM is capable of plunging the nation’s insurance industry into more stormy waters, he said the resistance of brokers and other stakeholders to the new licensing regime introduced by NAICOM,is an indication that there are greater implications for the sector if the situation is not well managed. Following the National Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) opposition to the new and higher licensing fees, others, including insurance stakeholders not directly affected by the new fees, said NAICOM’s action was arbitrary and may pass on greater burden to present and potential consumers of insurance products and services. Managing Director of Dang Nigeria Limited, a steel and aluminium fabrication firm, Mr. Lucky Ovigbo, said with the latest development, that he is sure his brokers will soon come to him for payment of increased premium. He said he was just trying to introduce some his business concerns to insurance, having run them successfully with any insurance policies for the past five years, adding with this latest development, that he may opt out of all his insurance policy commitments, as he cannot afford to spend his capital and profits on insurance premiums alone. Many of the brokers, who spoke with National Mirror but insisted on anonimity, said they are unequivocally condemning the increase in broker’s licence processing fees. “NAICOM is trying its very best to frustrate us out of business. Insurance brokerage is one area that enables chartered insurance practitioners to practice, but with
Chairman Nigeria Insurers’ Association, Mr. Olusola Ladipo
IF THE REGULATOR WANTS TO DEEPEN INSURANCE PENETRATION AND INCREASE AWARENESS, THEN WE NEED
SKILLED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE PEOPLE AND THE NEW FEES DO NOT ENCOURAGE THIS IN ANY WAY the new fee, it has become difficult for prospective brokers to practice in the field they choose to”, one broker on Lagos Island lamented. Another broker who also insisted on speaking only on condition of anonymity said the new licensing fee can be seen as a barrier to anybody willing to practise as a broker. He explained that this kind of fees does not abound in other professions like accountancy, law, estate surveyors, quantity surveying among others. According to him,“If the regulator wants to deepen insurance penetration and increase awareness, then we need skilled and knowledgeable people and the new fees does not encourage this in any way.” He added that this kind of regulation introduced without adequate consultation by the insurance sector regulators can be frustrating to people wishing to take part in the profession, noting though that though the new fees does not directly affect brokers who have been practising, it affects professionals in the industry. Also explaining the new licensing policy by NAICOM will do the sector more harm than any envisaged good in the immediate and long term, analyst, Mr. John Ag-
President, National Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Mrs. Laide Osijo
bonifo, said the sector is not deep or strong enough for any new policy or regulation to be implemented without first testing the waters. Agbonifo who is also a university lecturer added by these move, that many current and potential insurance policy holders will take to their heels, as the increase in fees payable will surely trickle down for consumers to bear. He said despite the explanation given by NAICOM that the commission should return to the drawing board, taking other stakeholders along and fashion out more acceptable methods of collecting fees and moving the industry forward. Inspite of the fears and worries of brokers and relevant stakeholders, the regulators said its plans are for the good of the industry. Assistant Director, Corporate affairs of NAICOM, Mr. Rasaaq Salami, explained the new fees which took effect from January 1, this year only affects new brokers, saying the commission, as part of efforts aimed at effective service delivery, directed that registration of new brokers by the commission would henceforth be done in two batches yearly. “Consequently, operating licences to successful applicants in the first batch would be issued on June 31 of each year, while the second batch shall be issued on December 31 of the same year. “For applications falling due in the first batch, all relevant documents are expected to reach the commission not later than March 31, while those for the second batch should have been received in the Commission on or before September 30 for processing. ‘’Applications and support documents received after March 31 or September 30, shall be treated as part of the next batches for consideration in the succeeding second half of the year,’’ NAICOM said.
WAICA Re targets $25m additional capital MESHACK IDEHEN
AICA Reinsurance Plc said it has concluded plans to shop for additional capital of $25 million in a bid to strengthen operations to all the African markets, The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Abiola Ekundayo, said the necessity to raise the capital base further was informed by the desire of the reinsurance firm to bring its services to all parts of the continent.
Disclosing that the company was currently operating with about $33 million from her first capital raise in 2011, Ekundayo said that it was discussing with EDC Limited as financial advisers to use their wide network to attract investors from across the African market to invest in WAICA Re. “We want to avoid the initial mistake we made in our first offer, which concentrated mainly in Sierra Leone, with less emphasis in Ghana and Nigeria, where there are heavy potential investors, this time around, we are going to spread our market strategy to all the markets in the continent this time around.
According to Ekundayo, the organization has come to full operation with the support of clients from the West African Region and beyond, having also enjoyed the goodwill of WAICA Poll as offshoot. He said, “Recently we paid $52,000 claims to Ghana Re from the account of WAICA Pool, which we will take back when part of the funds locked up in Union Bank of UK Limited, Commercial Bank of Ghana and some in Nigeria are accessed. Ekundayo stated that WAICA Re was established to help minimize the effects of the lack of reinsurance capacity within the West African insurance industry.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
NAICOM condemns fronting for foreign insurance firms STORIES: MESHACK IDEHEN
he National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) said fronting for foreign insurance companies is illegal, and an investigation to ascertain if any operator is doing this to the detriment of the market will soon be launched. Giving a pass mark to the industry commission said local retention in oil and gas insurance business in the country has risen from 6 to 30 per cent in the last three years. Speaking after the 40th African Insurance Organisation (AIO) Conference and General Assembly held in Cairo, Egypt, Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, also reacted to the recent alarm raised by an expert in oil and gas insurance, Mr. Dan Okehi, that three years after the implementation of the Nigerian Local Content Act, 2010 in the insurance industry began, the set objectives were far from being achieved. Okehi had alleged that rather than help the insurance industry grow capacity for the business, the policy with the way it was being implemented has continued to make the industry lose billions of Naira to foreign operators while the local market remains stagnant. However, the insurance commissioner maintained that the local retention capacity for oil and gas insurance business has risen by over 400 per cent in the last three years; rising from a little below 6 per cent to over 30 per cent, and that what some critics regarded as leakages in oil and
gas insurance business was the outcome of the gradual development of both human and technical capacity for the business. According to the NAICOM boss,” The capacity in oil and gas cannot be built overnight, we have a semblance of financial capacity but we don’t have human capacity. So what you call leakages is the developmental thing is gradual. Three years ago, the entire retention capacity of the entire Nigerian market was less than 6 per cent but now it is inching towards over 30 per cent. We are making very good progress. “I commend those who do not know who are saying well, the law has given you 70 per cent why are you not doing 70 per cent. What you eat you vomit, if we take more than we can cough out it will sink the market. So we really need to be sensible in the absorption of 70 per cent as prescribed by the Ni-
gerian Content Act, 2010”. He also said he was not aware that some insurers are leading on some of the oil and gas insurance accounts across the country, and have continued the regime of fronting for foreign operators in return for over-riding commission. The insurance commissioner maintained that fronting is illegal and promised to order an investigation to ascertain if any operator is doing this to the detriment of the market, even as he gave a pass mark to the industry in this regard. “Honestly, we are making very good strides progress but fronting, I don’t know anything about it. Fronting is illegal, I will find out if anybody is fronting for another person but we are making progress,” he stressed. It would be recalled that Okehi drew the attention of Federal Government and other stakeholders in the insurance industry to the fact the country was still losing billions of Naira in premium income ceded to foreign insurers illegally. He said these losses were being sustained by various malpractices perpetrated by a few greedy local insurers who front for foreign insurance and reinsurance companies in return for over-riding commissions. “The local content policy in oil and gas business was meant to boost premium income and build capacity in the insurance industry like other sectors. Unfortunately, it is only the insurance industry that has not benefited much from the local content policy.
Insurance NGO debuts, targets industry transformation
ransparent Protection Limited/Gte, a not-forprofit organisation, has unveiled plans to deepen insurance penetration in the country through innovative approach in insurance education and efficient service delivery to all stakeholders, particularly the un-insured in the grassroots. To actualise the laudable dreams, the promoters of the first-ever NGO to register its presence in the nation’s insurance sector, have announced 18th June, 2013 as date of the historic launching of the entity in Abuja. Disclosing this in a pre-launch statement issued on the planned take-off of the organisation after a roundtable organized for the media and select civil society groups, the Programme Manager of TPL, Mr Godson Ibekwe-Umelo, stated that TPL is a rights - based not-for-profit organization registered under the Laws of the Federal Repub-
lic of Nigeria. According to him, TPL is coming to steer revolution in insurance sector in Nigeria which to date has remained relatively underdeveloped despite huge potential. Ibekwe-Umelo lamented the low contributions of the Insurance industry’s by the ratio to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which remained at less than 1 per cent while the industry is ranked 87th in the world in terms of penetration and said one of the main goals of the new organisation was reversing the ugly development. “TPL is poised to help reverse this unfortunate trend by proactively mobilizing citizens, especially at the grassroots to take up insurance protection. Also, TPL will facilitate a platform for guaranteeing settlement of all genuine claims”, he assured. He disclosed further that with a huge population of between 150 and 160 million people, the
insurance sector in Nigeria has potential to become the biggest insurance market in Africa and among the largest in the world. In addition, he pointed out that TPL would hinge its operations which are intended to impact positively on insurance penetration drives on four thematic thrusts, namely Advocacy, Education, Mobilisation and Transparency and Governance. The TPL chief stated that towards realizing this goal, TPL has established a robust platform for mobilizing the insuring public at the grassroots for mass patronage of insurance products and ensuring timely settlement of all genuine claims. Transparent Protection Ltd/ Gte (TPL) was established in 2012 to help address the challenges of insurance sector underdevelopment in the country and has the vision of becoming the foremost not-for-profit organization that is driving insurance development in Africa
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How to file for fire insurance claims
osing your home and personal belongings to a fire is a devastating experience. The last thing you want is your homeowners’ insurance company giving you a hard time regarding your claim. Here are some tips to follow when dealing with your homeowners’ insurance company regarding fire insurance claims. Ask for an advance against your ultimate fire insurance claim - If you were forced to evacuate due to the dangerous conditions, you may not have grabbed essentials like toiletries or clothes for school and work. Some of these things may have even been completely lost in the fire. Don’t panic. Call your insurance company and ask that someone bring a check to wherever you are staying. That way you can go purchase your necessities without having to wait for your ultimate insurance coverage. Make a list of everything you’ve lost and do not throw anything away -You will want to make a list of everything you lost in the fire. This can take some time and reflection from everyone in your household. You want to be sure to start making this list as soon as you can so that you are able to remember to include everything lost by the time you file your fire insurance claim. Be sure not to throw anything away. File your claim right away and press the insurance company to act ASAP - Insurance policies require policyholders to file their fire insurance claims as soon as possible. Call your homeowners’ insurance agent immediately to get the process started. The insurance company will require you to submit a “proof of loss claim”. This is the form on which you include all of
the items you lost, including their value. Your prompt action is especially important if there were many other homeowners affected by the fire. If you don’t act immediately, you could fall to the bottom of the list of policyholders who have fire insurance claims, and it could be a long time before the adjuster reaches you. Secure your property to mitigate damage - The insurance company will require you to take reasonable care of your property. Therefore, be sure that you secure your property from further damage. If something is a total loss, of course, this is unnecessary. However, where only one section of your home is damaged, be sure to take proactive measures in preventing further damage. Get the right repairs estimates and keep receipts and documentation to everything - Filing fire insurance claims enables you to repair or even rebuild your damaged home. “Actual cash value” policies entitled you to the amount it would take to return your home, including its contents, to its pre-fire fair market value. Keep paying your insurance premiums - Many people make the error of discontinuing their insurance premiums once they’ve filed fire insurance claims. This is a huge mistake. Your homeowners’ insurance includes liability protection for your home, including pets. Consider hiring a public adjuster - Even if after hiring your own independent estimator or contractor you are unable to reach an acceptable settlement, consider hiring a public adjuster. This is a person you pay to negotiate with the insurance company for you. Source:realestate.findlaw. com
Retirees get N198.86bn payments from PFAs
ension Funds Administrators have so far paid out a total of N198.86bn to ex-workers, six years after retirees started accessing their pensions under the Contributory Pension Scheme. Figures from the National Pension Commission indicate that 71,518 retirees had emerged under the new pension scheme and were being paid their pensions by the PFAs and insurance companies. Records showed that while the PFAs paid out N183bn to retirees between July 2007 and September 2010, the fig-
ure only increased by N10bn between September 2010 and May 2013. Section 11(1) of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 states that every employee shall maintain a Retirement Savings Account in his name with any PFA of his choice, while section 4(1) states that the account credited to the balance of the worker at retirement should only be assessed either through programmed withdrawal or annuity. Under the Act, any employer who has a minimum of five employees is mandated to enrol them under the CPS.
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NDIC to support MFBs with liquidity problems TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation yesterday reiterated its readiness to extend financial support to Microfinance Banks (MFBs) with genuine liquidity problems. Disclosing this at the opening session of its workshop for operators of microfinance banks in Abuja, the Managing Director of the Corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, said the financial support would only be accessed by MFBs with clean financial records and after they must have met the conditions set by the NDIC. He explained that only MFBs that have prudentially managed their resources and with good corporate governance will benefit from the financial lifeline. Ibrahim, who also hinted that the corporation
had set aside N16bn special fund to augment deficit in the premium expected to be paid by operators of Microfinance Banks (MFBs), said the need to extend support to some of the MFBs contending with illiquidity was in furtherance of the Corporation’s mandate of ensuring, in collaborating with the CBN and other regulatory institutions. “We need to extend helping hands by extending financial assistance to deserving MFBs especially those having liquidity problems. But the NDIC will first of all examine the books and affairs of MFBs interested in accessing this assistance before any assistance can be offered to any of them”, Ibrahim said While urging the MFBs to avail themselves of the opportunity of getting financial lifeline from the Corporation, he however
stated clearly that who misappropriated bank funds by giving loans to friends and family members will not qualify for the assistance. According to him, there will be some criteria that would have to be met before such entities would benefit from the support while MFBs that were found to have violated corporate governance practice and other financial abuses might risk a takeover by the commission. He said the NDIC set aside the N16bn special fund to augment payment to depositors of the 103 failed MFBs, and that so far about N4.5bn is expected to be paid on insured deposit liabilities. Presently, the NDIC he said has paid close to N2.5bn of insured deposits, but he expressed concerns that the NDIC could not have met these obligations if the corporation was depending on
the N1.6 billion it had collected as premium form the MFBs. Ibrahim also decried what he called the lack of rendition of returns and appealed to MFB operators to improve their information management system. He said that in the last two to three years the NDIC has sent out memos to MFBs on their rendition of returns but that the response had been poor, pointing out that the Corporation will soon sign new MoU with MFBs as part of efforts to ensure that they meet their obligations on insurance deposit requirements. In the area of financial literacy, he reassured that the corporation will do everything possible to support depositors by keeping its doors open to them at all times and ensuring that complaints by customers are attended to promptly.
S’African fund buys stake in Dangote Cement for N45.8bn DAMILOLA AJAYI
WITH AGENCY REPORT
angote Cement yesterday sold 1.5 per cent of its stake to a sovereign wealth fund for N45.8bn ($289.3m), broker to the deal said yesterday. Renaissance Capital said Dangote Industries sold 1.5 per cent of its 95 per cent stake in the company at N179 per share. Meanwhile, the benchmark index of equities rose further yesterday on Nigerian Stock Exchange,
Index rises further by 0.4% as more investors took positions on stock with good earnings. The All Share Index appreciated by 0.44 per cent to close at 39,737.80 points, compared to the increase of 0.14 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 39,564.79 points. Market capitalisation increased by N12bn to close at N12.76trn, higher than the increase of N2bn recorded on Friday to close at N12.64trn.
IPWA Plc led the gainers’ table with six kobo or 10 per cent to close at 66 kobo per share, followed by Royal Exchange Plc with six kobo or 10 per cent to close at 66 kobo per share. Livestock Plc rose by 59 kobo or 9.93 per cent to close at N6.53 per share, while Union Bank of Nigeria Plc gained N1.30 or 9.93 per cent to close at N14.39 per share. Champion Breweries Plc appreciated by 48 kobo or 9.92 per cent to
close at N5.32 per share. On the flip side, AG Leventis Plc dropeed by 10 kobo or 6.33 per cent to close at N1.48 per share, while Mansard Insurance Plc dipped by 15 kobo or 6.25 per cent to cose at N2.25 per share. Stanbic IBTC lost 75 kobo or 4.37 per cent to close at N16.40 per share, while UBA Capital Plc fell five kobo or four per cent to close at N1.20 per share. Japaul Oil Plc shed two kobo or 3.57 per cent to close at 54 kobo per share.
Wapic Insurance N3.5bn rights issue begins JOHNSON OKANLAWON
apic Insurance yesterday commenced rights issue of 6,350,518,383 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each valued at N3.51bn. A statement from the insurer said the offer was on the basis of eight new ordinary shares for every 10 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each. The statement quoted the company’s chairman, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, as saying that the rights issue is a first step towards rais-
ing additional capital for the company’s longer term infrastructure and expansion objectives. According to him, the required endorsement from shareholders and the regulators to guarantee the success of the offer has been received. He said, “The company is offering 6,350,518, 383 units of ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at 55 kobo per share on the basis of eight new ordinary shares for every 10 ordinary shares currently held by the eligible existing shareholders. “The successful uptake
of the offer will result in deepening of the company’s underwriting capacity and thereby broaden its sectoral participation in the Nigerian economy.” He explained that shares being offered will rank same in all respects with the existing shares of the company. Shareholders had on June 4, 2012, during the company’s 53rd Annual General Meeting, authorised the company to raise N5bn to boost its operations. He added that the fund will also be used to improve infrastructure and information technology capabili-
ties and to inject additional capital into the company’s subsidiaries. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Segun Balogun said the company is gradually being repositioned for growth in all aspects and lines of business. He said the company has strengthened its capacity by restructuring its business model and the additional capital will complement on-going repositioning initiatives and fast track the company’s emergence as a truly diversified insurance company with world class service.
Market indicators All-Share Index 39,737.80 points Market capitalisation 12.77 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
% CHANGE 10.00
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Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at June 10, 2013 1st Tier Securities
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 of votes at the end of the voting shall be declared the winner of the presidential primaries of the political party and the aspirant’s name shall be forwarded to the Independent National Commission as the candidate of the party.” The Act further provides that where there is only one aspirant in a political party for any of the elective positions, the party shall convene a special convention or congress at a designated centre on a specified date for the confirmation of such aspirant.
Automatic tickets: More troubles for PDP
The fear A chieftain of the PDP who spoke on the issue told National Mirror that the Right of First Refusal is being weighed to avoid a humiliation of the President at the party’s national convention. He said: “The lack of discipline among party members and most importantly, the fallout of the just held chairmanship election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, in which the party was the opposition to itself has taught us a bitter lesson.” He added that Jonathan’s ambition for a second term would be in jeopardy if an open contest is allowed given the antics of some anti-Jonathan PDP governors who will actually control the delegates to the party’s convention. Jonathan’s easy ride at the PDP presidential primaries in 2011, it would be recalled, was largely attributed to the overwhelming support of the PDP governors then. Numbering 23, they defied opposition from some Northern political leaders who endorsed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s candidacy. The PDP governors had then insisted that a sitting president, who was not barred by the constitution, should not be stopped from seeking the presidency as long as he remained constitutionally qualified. At the end, Jonathan won with a landslide. He polled 2,736 votes to defeat Atiku, who polled 805 votes. The incontestable influence of the governors, perhaps explains the rationale for the just concluded reconciliation tour that took the Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee (NWC) round the six geo-political zones of the country. National Mirror gathered that the move was aimed at wooing support for the President, as there is the fear that he is unlikely to get massive support in his re-election bid, given the supremacy battle between him and some governors of his party. To most political observers, the feud is not unexpected. Majority of the governors are serving out their second term, so the Villa is likely to be their next target. Already, Governors Aliyu and Sule Lamido (Jigawa) are said to be interested in taking over from the President, while Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) is believed to be eyeing the vice presidency.
Booby trap Also the national leadership of the PDP and Jonathan’s strategists, who are playing the card of automatic tickets, are not unmindful of the likely apathy of its members after the presidential primaries, who could in-turn swell the “enemy’s camp” the yet to be registered APC. A former Commissioner for Information in Imo State, Chief Elvis Agukwe, who is the Lead Strategist of Concerned PDP Democrats, a group that is also championing the Jonathan affirmation project,
is of the view that the obvious danger and threat to the continued dominance of the PDP has made it imperative for the party to take a second look at the rules governing the conduct of its presidential and governorship primaries. His words: “Right of First Refusal is a survival strategy adopted by political parties all over the world to reduce bickering, animosity, blackmail, big money politics and bad blood within its rank. Party primaries are necessary to choose flag bearers for political parties before the main election. It is dubbed the election before election. Sometimes, the real choice of the people may not emerge in party primaries, especially when the delegates’ system of selection is involved and money plays a significant role in the choices that are made. “At other times, the primaries become so acrimonious that cracks develop among party members, leading to disaffection and defection to other parties. …Because of the obvious danger and threat to the continued dominance of PDP, it has become absolutely necessary for the party to take a second look at the rules governing the conduct of its presidential primary and also governorship primaries. Those recurring errors are what should be avoided in the tortuous road of endorsing a candidate for future presidential elections in Nigeria.” This trepidation, most analysts noted, may have informed the recent developments in the PDP like the emergence of Anenih as BoT chairman; formation of the PDP Governors’ Forum; sacking of some states executives of the party loyal to the anti-Jonathan governors and their replacement with the trusted allies as well as the factionalisation of the NGF. Anenih, popularly known as “Mr. Fix” is believed to have what it takes to whip all party members into line.
Implications A political school of thought is of the view that the PDP would be taking a risk in 2015 if it goes ahead with the automatic tickets, even if it amends its constitution before then. According to this school, any aggrieved aspirant can approach the court for redress on the grounds that provisions of the Electoral Act were breached, if Jonathan emerges as the party’s presidential candidate without a contest. The judiciary recently laid a veritable ground for such redress when the Federal High Court, Lagos, presided over Justice Okechukwu Okeke (now retired), ruled
THE ELECTORAL ACT DOES NOT ALLOW CANDIDATES BY
CONSENSUS. AND THAT IS WHY EVEN IF THE CANDIDATE IS ONLY
ONE; THERE MUST BE YES OR NO VOTES BY THE DELEGATES against a suit by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), seeking to invalidate the provisions of the Electoral Act, which prescribes primaries as mode of choosing standardbearers in future general elections. The party had sought a declaration that the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) were inconsistent with the provisions of Section 4 and 228 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as prayed the court to declare the section unconstitutional and void for mandating the manner of conducting primaries by political parties for elections into elective offices. But the court, in its judgement upheld the powers of the National Assembly to legislate on how political parties should nominate candidates for elections, saying the exercise of the National Assembly’s regulatory powers as contained in Section 228 of the 1999 Constitution gave rise to the enactment of the Electoral Act and therefore refused the plaintiff ’s prayer seeking to invalidate Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
Opposition mounts The PDP leadership and President’s men will still have a lot to contend with in their bid, particularly from Atiku, who has vowed to resist attempts to foister Jonathan on the party as its sole candidate. In a statement by his media office last weekend, Atiku said he would stand against any kind of “consensus arrangement” and “adoption”, adding that he will only support transparent elections that will produce candidates for all elective offices. He recalled that he had gone to court severally to challenge such policy and that the courts ruled that it was alien to the PDP and Nigerian constitutions. According to him, the principle for which he opposed the unjust policy, which he described as a
“travesty of democracy” has not changed since then. He said: “My position remains that as far as the PDP Constitution is concerned, any attempt to change the party’s rule to favour the President as a sole candidate in the event of his willingness to re-contest is unconstitutional. The contest should be open to all desiring to pursue an ambition on the platform of the PDP.” Atiku, who admitted that Jonathan can seek the party’s ticket in 2015, however maintained that he (the President) should submit himself to a transparent and fair process, just like any other party members, warning that the PDP would be sending the wrong message to Nigerians about its commitment to conduct free and fair elections for the entire country if it abandons a free and fair process for the selection of its presidential candidate. The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and other Northern political leaders including the Convener, Concerned Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Business, Dr. Junaid Muhammed and former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav also kicked against the proposal, saying it is against the tenets of democracy and the Electoral Act. Speaking with National Mirror, the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Anthony Sani, said: “The proposal by the PDP BoT chairman, Chief Anenih, that the president and governors should not be subjected to primaries is clearly against the provisions of the Electoral Act on internal democracy within political parties. The intendment of the Electoral Act is in order to inspire full participation of party members in choosing those who become candidates of the parties. The Electoral Act does not allow candidates by consensus. And that is why even if the candidate is only one; there must be yes or no votes by the delegates.” Muhammed said the proposal, apart from having the potential of derailing the democratic process, defeats democratic tenets as the process excludes other competent aspirants on the platform of the PDP. His words: “I’m opposed to it and any attempt to circumvent any election must be condemned and rejected. There will be a revolution or break up of Nigeria either which will be violent if there is insistence to give the President and governors automatic tickets in 2015. The logical thing is for those who feel aggrieved to fight it.” Tsav, on his part, said: “Chief Anthony Anenih and Chief E.K. Clark have kickstarted the campaign for the re-election of President Jonathan. Yes, this may be in line with the provision of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but the shoeless President Goodluck Jonathan is also clueless and lacks ideas. In fact, he has run out of ideas.” Unarguable, the fact that all organs and processes of power in the PDP are naturally skewed in favour of an incumbent to win the party’s presidential primaries, the party’s leadership should however be conscious of the fact that the blank cheque it is proposing for President Jonathan and the governors, will not only amount to an infringement on the rights of other members, but equally work against compliance to democratic tenets and principles of equality and fairness.
PARLIAMENT After over one year of extensive research, study tours, collating proposals from the public, strategic collaboration with key partners, consultations with stakeholders and feedbacks from national and zonal public hearings, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, presented the report of the committee to the Senate plenary last week. GEORGE OJI reports on details of the proposed amendments.
he report of the Senate Constitution Review Committee, submitted to the Senate last week, no doubt, is a significant milestone in the nation’s march towards constitutional democracy. It is the fourth attempt at remodelling the 1999 Constitution since the inception of the present democratic dispensation. The first attempt in 2006/2007 was unfortunately bogged down by the bogey of tenure extension. However, the amendments of 2009 and 2010 were very successful to the extent that it strengthened the nation’s electoral laws and significantly insulated the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from the stranglehold of the executive by legislating its autonomy and independence through financial independence. The current exercise has already shown signs of boldness and significant improvements. For example, the recommendation for a single tenure for elected executive officers, no doubt, is a very bold and hard sell. For it to scale through, it requires very versed and tested policy advocates to market. It is hoped that the committee is already thinking along this line. Expectedly, the single tenure proposal is already stocking wide range controversies. What that shows is that you need very patriotic, altruistic and nationalistic person to come up with such a bold prognosis in a multicultural and multireligious society such as ours. Frankly speaking, the task of amending a constitution, particularly in a complex society such as ours is by no means an easy exercise. This much was admitted by Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the Senate Constitution Review Committee, when he said on the occasion of the presentation of his committee’s report before Senate plenary last week that “the process of drafting or amending a constitution in any society is a complex one.” The process is not only complex but highly political and sensitive. Logically therefore, reaching a consensus on any issue in such a society and through such a daunting process could be very frustrating, more so, among a 49-member committee, whose membership were carefully drawn from all the zones and other interests of the country by the
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Senate: Tortuous journey Senate. Somehow, the issues before the review committee did not make its tasks any easier. What were those? They were devolution of powers, creation of states, recognition of the geo-political zones in the constitution, constitutional roles for traditional rulers, local governments, fiscal federalism, immunity clause, Nigerian police, Judicial reforms, the executive, rotation of executive offices, mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), residency and indigene provisions, amongst a few others. Considering the foregoing therefore, the logical question that follows will be: how were the senators able to come to consensus on all these contentious issues? Ekweremadu again on the rescue here: “Members always tried to reach out for consensus decision. Hence, decisions and recommendations in the report have been approved by consensus. In those rare occasions where there were strong divergence of views, decisions were supported by a majority of members and where it was requested, the minority view is also recorded.” In other words, the recommendations that were served Nigerians by the review committee were the products of consensus. The issues in question were:
Single tenure By far, the most controversial recommendation from the review committee had to do with the single six year term tenure for elected President, Vice President, governors and their deputies, contained in section 135 of the draft constitution (for the president and his vice) and section 180 (for the governors and their deputies). For the president and the vice, section 135 states that, (1) Subject to the provisions of this constitution, a person shall hold office of President until(a) When his successor in office takes the oath of that office; (b) He dies whilst holding such office or; (c) The date when his resignation from office takes effect; or (d) He otherwise ceases to hold office in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution (2) Subject to the provisions of this subsection (1) of this section, the President shall vacate his office at the expiration of a period of six years commencing from when (a) in the case of a person elected as President under this constitution, he took the oath of allegiance and the oath of office and – (b) in any other case, the person elected to that office under this constitution took the oath of allegiance and oath of office or would but for his death, have taken that such oaths. Concerning the succession of a president by his vice, the committee recommended that, “Where a Vice President-elect or Vice President succeeds the Presidentelect or the President in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, he shall not be eligible to contest for the office of the President in any subsequent election.
Deputy President of the Senate and Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, Senator Ike Ekweremadu laying the report of the Senate committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution before the Senate in plenary.
WHERE A VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OR VICE PRESIDENT SUCCEEDS THE
PRESIDENT-ELECT OR THE PRESIDENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION
(1) OF THIS SECTION, HE SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO CONTEST FOR THE OFFICE OF THE
PRESIDENT IN ANY
SUBSEQUENT ELECTION before the coming into force of the alteration of section 135 and 136 of this constitution shall not be eligible to contest election for a single term of six years.” In justifying its recommendation regarding the single tenure the committee noted that “considering the financial expenses often associated with re-election and to ensure that executive heads are freed from the distractions to be able to concentrate on public policy issues, a provisions for single term of six years for president and governors is made in section 135 and 180 respectively.”
Office of the Attorney General Disqualification of President and Vice President Section 137(3) of the draft bill states that, “A person holding the office of the President or Vice President immediately
Another far-reaching recommendation of the review committee was its proposal for the separation of the office of the Attorney General from the Minister of Jus-
tice, which under the current constitution are fused in one. This is to apply at both the federal and state levels. The Attorney General is accordingly designated as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation or the State as the case may be. To further guarantee the holder of the office of the Attorney General, the committee recommended that the appointment must be made by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Also, the Attorney General must be tenure-based. In this regard, the committee recommended a seven-year non-renewable tenure. Also to further insulate the holder of the office of Attorney General from politics, the committee recommended that such a person must not be a member of any political party nor is a civil servant. The justification of this recommendation according to the committee is to guarantee the independence of the office of the Attorney General of the Federation. Section 150 of the draft constitution, where this proposal is contained states that, (1) There shall be an Attorney General of the Federation who shall be the Chief Law Officer of the federation. (2) The President shall appoint the Attorney General subject to confirmation by the Senate. (3) A person shall not qualify to hold or perform the functions of the office of Attorney General for the federation unless he(a) is qualified to practice as a legal practitioner (b) has been so qualified for not less than ten years (c) is not a member of a political party or a civil servant. (4) The Attorney General of the Federation shall not be subject to the direction or control of any authority or person in the performance of the function of his office (5) The Attorney General shall hold of-
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to a new constitution
COMMITTEE PROPOSED THAT ALL AMOUNTS DUE EACH OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FROM THE FEDERATION ACCOUNT SHALL BE PAID DIRECTLY TO SUCH COUNCIL AREAS become law.”
Creation of first line charge for certain bodies and officers at state level
fice for a single term of seven years.
Abolition of State-Local Government joint account To make for accountability and effective local government system, the committee recommended the removal of the joint account from the constitution. Consequently, the review committee proposed that all amounts due each of the local governments from the federation account shall be paid directly to such council areas. This of course is with a caveat: for any local government to be a beneficiary of this new financial regime, it must be a democratically elected council. Section 162 where this is contained states in subsection (5) that, “any amount standing to the credit of the local government in the federation account shall be allocated and paid directly to the local governments for their benefit on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly. (6) The amount standing to the credit of a local government without a democratically elected council shall be withheld until there is a democratically elected local government council in such local government.
Mayoral administrative system for the FCT This proposal no doubt will go a long way to gladden the hearts of the indigenes of the FCT, who had always seized any given opportunity to drum support for this position. The committee in its recommendation noted that a Mayoral status for the FCT was not only in keeping with the practice in many capital cities of the world, but also to ensure efficient administration of the FCT. According to the proposal, there shall also be a Deputy Mayor for the city. Curiously, the committee threw the position of Mayor open to all Nigerians and
not restricted only to indigenes of the territory. It also recommended that the Mayor and his Deputy must emerge through the process of an election. It further made similar provision for state governors for the Mayor as well. Section 302 where this provision is contained states is subsection (1) that, “There shall be for the Federal Capital Territory a Mayor. (2) The National Assembly shall make law to provide for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of the office of Mayor of the Federal Capital Territory.
Presidential assent to bills If the recommendation of the committee on the above subject matter is finally accepted presidential veto of bills will have been finally laid to rest. This is also a way of addressing the nagging issue of unnecessary withholding of presidential assents to bills passed by the National Assembly without tangible explanations. What this means is that once a bill is passed by the National Assembly and sent to the President for his assent, if within 30 days the president refused to assent to the bill or send it back to the parliament with convincing explanations, the bill automatically becomes a law, an act. In its rationalisation of such provision, the committee stated that, “in the light of recent experience, the committee inserted a new provision in the draft bill to resolve the impasse where the President neglects to signify his assent or that he withholds such assent. In our view, this will strengthen legislature’s authority and enable timely passage of laws for good governance.” Section 58(a) where this new provision is contained states that, “Where the President neither signifies that he assents or that he withholds assents, the bill shall at the expiration of thirty days become law.” The same provision as contained in section 100(a) also applies at the state levels. “Where the governor neither signifies that he assents or that he withholds assent, the bill shall at the expiration of thirty days
As the National Assembly did during the last review exercise in 2009, they recommended financial autonomy for members of the States Houses of Assembly, but unfortunately, through the influence of some of the state governors, the lawmakers failed to ratify such provisions. This time around, the senators have not only re-inserted same provisions, they have gone ahead to enlarge the beneficiaries of such privileges. Accordingly, the committee recommended that to engender accountability and efficient service delivery, a provision is made for State Houses of Assembly, State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIEC), Auditor-General of the State and the Attorney-General of a state to get their funding directly from the state consolidated revenue fund. Section 121(3) where this is contained states as follows- “Any amount standing to the credit of the (a) State Independent Electoral Commission (b) House of Assembly of the state (c) Auditor-General of the state (d) Judiciary and (e) Attorney-General of the State; in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state be paid directly to the heads of the respective bodies for the use of the institutions for which he is head.
Removal of some listed Acts of the N/Assembly from Constitution The committee in addition proposed the removal of the following listed acts of the National Assembly from the constitution: (a)The National Youth Service Corps Decree 1993 (b) The Public Complaints Commission Act (c) The National Security Agencies Act (d) The National Lands use Act. The essence of the delisting of the above acts of the National Assembly from the constitution according to previous arguments all through the review process was that it does not enable faster and easier and less cumbersome amendments to the above acts. This recommendation is contained in section 315 of the draft bill.
Devolution of Powers In response to the agitations by Nigerians to devolve powers from the centre to the states, the committee recommended the decongestion of the Exclusive List of
the responsibility arrangement in the constitution. According to the committee, “the Exclusive List under Part 1 of the second schedule to the constitution is congested, cumbersome and unwieldy. There is therefore the need to decongest the Exclusive List by maintaining only items of concurrent interest to the concurrent list.” The committee therefore substituted “post and telegraph,” with, “Post and Telecommunication,” removed prison, railways, stamp duties and wages from exclusive legislative list and also added items to the exclusive and concurrent lists. Accordingly, the concurrent list is expanded to include arbitration, environment, healthcare, prisons, railways, road safety, stamp duties, wages, land and agriculture, youth, public complaints and aviation. National Security is subsequently retained in the exclusive list. It noted that while most of the proposals and the forwarded bills sent to the committee which it relied on to arrive at its recommendations were widely popular with the citizenry and advanced strong arguments for constitutional amendments, the committee was constrained to assess not only the popularity of the proposals, but also their value and workability in the context of Nigeria. It further explained that some of the bills referred to it were not as comprehensive and were rife with ambiguities, while some do not promote the spirit of separation of powers in a presidential system of government, while yet some of the proposals are better treated as conventions rather than codified in the constitution. On the strength of the foregoing, the committee said it was constrained to reject these bills and proposals. They include;
State Courts of Appeal bill This is a Senate bill forwarded to the committee. It seeks to establish state Courts of Appeal in the six geo-political zones of the country, introduce state legislative list, adjust and modify the legislative powers of government between the federal and state governments and provide for the recognition of the six geo-political zones in the constitution. The committee rejected this on the strong conviction that the present structure/arrangements should be sustained.
Bill to compel President to implement N/ Assembly resolutions This is also a Senate bill seeking to provide for the implementation and execution of the National Assembly resolution and or approve report of investigations conducted by the National Assembly. The committee noted that good as this proposal may be to assert the authority of the National Assembly it does not promote the spirit of separation of powers in a presidential system of government and it apparently encroaches on the powers of the executive arm of government. Consequently, the bill was rejected by the committee.
Bill to compel president to attach portfolio to ministerial nominees Again, this is a Senate bill forwarded to the committee. It seeks to make provision that will enable the National Assembly to be more effective in the screening of ministerial nominees by ensuring that portfolio is attached to each nominee. CONTINUED ON PAGE 44
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Proper legislation, key to better life –Delta Speaker THE
PARLIAMENT FELIX NWANERI
embers of the Delta State House of Assembly have been urged to ensure better living standards for the people of the state through proper legislation and exercise of oversight functions. The Speaker of the Assembly, Victor Ochei, gave the charge yesterday in his opening remarks at a two-day retreat for the lawmakers in Lagos. The programme is aimed at further preparing the legislators for the arduous task of making laws for order and good governance of the state as the House begins a new legislative year. Ochei said: “The task of lawmaking in a complex state like ours urgently requires that we must take time from our ever busy lawmaking and exercise of oversight functions schedules, to occasionally look back, with the sole aim of improving and also setting goals and agenda for ourselves. “This is in line with the well known dictum that unreflected life is not worth living. Indeed, reflection is part of human activity. This is because man is at the apex of creation, and through this mental activity, man’s will to achieve, to overcome evils, to surmount difficulties, and to advance the well-being of mankind is achieved. “Bearing this in mind, it is my sincere desire, that we will use this period to deeply reflect on issues confronting us in our state and fashion out ways of addressing same, through informed legislation. It is my fervent hope that at the end of this retreat, we would have been
WE MUST APPRECIATE GOVERNOR UDUAGHAN, FOR TRULY KEEPING
FAITH WITH HIS THREEPOINT AGENDA, WHICH HAS GREATLY TURNED THE FORTUNES OF OUR STATE IN ALL SPHERES FOR THE BETTER better reinvigorated for the new legislative year, which, in all intents and purposes must be aimed at further bringing legislative dividends to our people who daily yearn for laws and adequate supervisory roles that will better their lives.” The Speaker pledged the resolve of the Delta House of Assembly to ensure more democracy dividends for Deltans, saying: “Despite the modest achievements we might have recorded in this outgoing legislative year, in-
deed, enormous they may look to the generality of our people, they are no more and no less inconsequential to what we shall aspire to bring to the table of our people in this coming legislative year. “It then behoves on us, as the direct representative of the people, to fashion out concrete ways by which, in concert with the other arms of government, the lives of our people will be made even better, and this, we can achieve, only through proper legislation and exercise of oversight functions.” Commending his colleagues for their collective and personal sacrifices in the past two years, and which had seen the House succeed as a body, Ochei further charged them not to relent in supporting the state governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, who he said, has kept faith with his three-point agenda that has greatly turned the fortunes of Delta State around. He said: “I must hasten to use this medium to thank you, my esteemed colleagues for your immense support, especially, for your collective and personal sacrifices which you made within the past two years, and which had seen us succeed as a body. This is in spite, of some obvious challenges, though, expected in any human institution, but, which never dampened our collective resolve to succeed. For these, my worthy colleagues, I am most grateful. “We must never get tired of appreciating our very hardworking, humane and highly passionate governor, His Excellency, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, for truly keeping faith with his three-point agenda, and which has greatly turned the fortunes of our state around in all spheres for the better. We must also, salute his courage for being such a bastion of support and a democrat in ensuring that truly, the principle of separation of powers holds sway in Delta State.” Speaking on environmental management, which he described as a monster in today’s world, Ochei lamented the inability of the various environmental protection agencies to live up to expectation.
Senate: Tortuous journey to a new constitution CONTINUED FROM PAGE 43 The committee stated that it turned down this bill because assigning portfolios should remain the prerogative of the president for reasons of flexibility. Besides, it has been shown that professional qualification does not necessarily approximate to performance in practical terms.
Bill to prohibit the education of children and wards of public officers abroad This bill also is a Senate bill to the committee seeking to prohibit the education of children and wards of public officers abroad for courses offered by institutions in Nigeria, save for specialised courses at postgraduate levels. The verdict of the committee, which led to the rejection of the bill was that this may amount to a violation of the rights of such children/wards. Besides, the committee reasoned that it is discriminatory and may also be difficult to enforce.
State creation The committee revealed that it received a total of 61 requests for state creation. However, none of the requests complied with the entire provision of section 81(1), which provides that the request must come from two-thirds serving lawmakers from the state Houses of Assembly, two-thirds
serving members of the House of Representatives of the areas requesting for the state creation. The committee disclosed that none of the requests for state creation at the close of receipt of memoranda satisfied the requirement of section 8(1)(a)(i-iii) to justify a recommendation for the next step in section 8(1)(b), namely; directing the INEC to conduct memorandum.
the FCT in the proviso to section 147(3) of the constitution as it relates to ministerial appointments so as to ensure that an “indigene” of the FCT is appointed as a minister. The committee argued that desirable as that may be, the provisions granting mayoral status for the FCT will go a long way in ensuring equitability and is sufficient to ensure efficient administration of the Federal Capital.
State Police This is a proposal for the provision of state police in the constitution. The committee came up with the verdict that the preferred approach at this time is to critically look at the current federal police system with a view to sanitising and strengthening it. It turned down the request.
Rotation of executive offices
Special Status for Lagos
Prohibition of foreign accounts
This was a proposal seeking the designation of Lagos as special status in the constitution and to consequently treat it as such. The committee reasoned that while it appreciated the peculiar needs and challenges of Lagos, according such status should be a matter of political decision, which should be kept out of the constitution.
The committee advised that the status quo be maintained in this regard, because according to it, making any alteration is most likely to be received with misgivings and outrage by Nigerians as it may portray the National Assembly as self-serving and may affect the entire legitimacy/credibility of the constitution amendment exercise.
Ministerial slot for “indigenes” of FCT
This proposal seeks the inclusion of
The committee rejected this proposal on the grounds that the constitution should not make Nigerian leadership subject to ethnic or regional considerations. It rather consigned it to the whims of the political parties for consideration.
The committee rejected this proposal
He said: “For this year’s retreat, we have chosen to discuss an issue that has gradually become a monster in our today’s world, the issue of Environmental Management. The world is today grappling with issues of climate change. For us in Delta State, issues of air, water and land pollution, bush burning, flooding, and gas flaring and so on stare us in the face. “You may recall that in 1988,the toxic waste dumping incident at Koko, in our state led to the establishment of the then Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), this agency produced the Agenda 21. It emphasised the rational use of oil and gas resources, industrial pollution management and natural resources conservation. The agency was also instrumental in getting industrial emission and effluent discharge standard promulgated in order to control air, water, and land pollution. “The coming into being of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency(NESREA) as a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Environment as established by NESREA (Establishment ) Act 2007, after repealing the Federal Environmental Protection Agency Act Cap F 10 LFN 2004 was expected to bring additional vigour in the management of the environment. “Going by the mandate of NESREA, it is empowered amongst others to enforce all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in Nigeria, as well as enforcing compliance with the provisions of all international agreements, protocols, conventions and treaties on the environment to which Nigeria is a signatory. This ought to have helped environmental protection management, but just as FEPA before it, many doubt, if it has lived up to expectation.” He called on the legislators to critically look at environmental issues in Delta State, with a view to finding out how to maximise enough gain from it, in the state government’s drive towards Delta Beyond Oil vision as well as fashion out laws that will protect the environment and improve internal revenue earnings. on the grounds that INEC is still grappling to strengthen its capacity to conduct elections within the country. It further reasoned that it would be counter-productive to extend INEC’s responsibilities abroad without the requisite capacity. The Senate is expected to commence full debate of the proposals and recommendations upon resumption on June 17. The lawmakers will also vote on each of the recommendations contained in the report. This point was well taken when the Senate President, David Mark remarked at the end of the presentation of the report by Ekweremadu that, “You are going to take the copies home so that during the recess you will have enough opportunity to read through, digest and consult more with members of your constituents. When you come back from the recess, then senators will make individual contributions. “You need to have these copies to go home with; the debate on it will commence when we come back. We are going to devote many days or weeks to the debate on it because every senator will be given an opportunity to make a comment. I want to remind all of us that the voting on it is not by voice vote, everybody will need to answer his father’s name when the voting comes. So, prepare your mind and make up your mind where you stand on each of these issues.”
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
UNESCO rates Nigeria low in access to school
“What may amount to a declaration of war is if the security agreements that have been reached (with Sudan) are violated.” – South Sudanese Army Spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer
African First Ladies to hold summit on women’s empowerment
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
ormer South Africa’s President Nelson Mandela remains in a serious, but stable condition in a Pretoria hospital, the latest update yesterday has announced. The presidency said Mandela’s condition was unchanged and confirmed that he was in intensive care. Prayers have been said in churches across the country for Mr Mandela, who is being treated for a lung infection. Mandela, 94, was taken to hospital early on Saturday, the third time this year he has been admitted. The presidency said he had been ill for some days at his Johannesburg home, with a recurrence of his long-standing lung problems. He was admitted to hospital after his condition worsened at 01:30 on Saturday (23:30 GMT Friday). Meanwhile, Mandela has became the latest victim of a celebrity death prank on Twitter after a fake Piers Morgan account tweeted that Mandela had died earlier yesterday afternoon. The fake account with just over 3 000 followers sent this tweet to the Twitterverse: “Breaking news: Nelson Mandela’s spokesman has confirmed the tragic news that the former leader died earlier this afternoon in his sleep.” At the time of this article, the tweet was retweeted 1 400 times. Peculiarly, most of the posts following the fake “breaking news” announcement via Twitter came
A newspaper seller holds the Sunday Times newspaper with the headline quote “It’s time to let him go” referring to words spoken by long-time friend of former president Nelson Mandela, Andrew Mlangeni Photo: AP
Mandela’s condition unchanged, still serious
Hoax of his death on Twitter
from Spain. It was not long before the social media network was awash with messages for Mandela. Several Spanish Twitter users, including eight-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, flooded their streams with messages that the apartheid hero had passed on in his sleep and the world had lost a very important person. Translation: Today we lost one of the most important and relevant to our world. Rest in peace #NelsonMandela The rumour gained further
traction after the tennis star tweeted this to over four million of his followers. But it wasn’t long before the actual Piers Morgan acquired knowledge of the hoax and reported the fake account. The South African government said in a statement: “President Jacob Zuma reiterates his call for South Africa to pray for Madiba and the family during this time.” Madiba is Mandela’s clan name. In releasing the latest update, presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj also denied that visitors were being blocked from seeing
Mandela. He said: “The reality is that the normal procedures when a patient is under intensive care are applying from the medical side. “Therefore there are limitations on visitors and, you know, that when a person is in intensive care the doctors only allow some very close people to be there - it is not the way it is being presented in the media.” The BBC’s reporter in Pretoria says there is a quiet hope that the man who led the fight against apartheid may regain his strength once again.
Ghana arrests 55 illegal gold miners, including a Nigerian
hana’s police have arrested at least 55 West Africans suspected of illegal gold mining, an immigration spokesman has told the BBC. The arrests suggest that the police’s focus has shifted away from Chinese miners to African miners, reports the BBC Akwasi Sarpong from Ghana. The authorities freed 124 Chinese nationals at the weekend and ordered them to leave the country. Ghanaian law prevents foreigners from working in smallscale gold mines. Ghana is Africa’s biggest gold
An illegal gold mining site in Ghana.
producer after South Africa. The raids are popular with
Photo: Seabuk Blog
many poor Ghanaians who feel that foreigners are taking jobs
from them, according to BBC. Immigration spokesman Francis Palmdeti told the BBC that of the 55 arrested, 51 were from Niger, three from Togo and one from Nigeria. Identity checks were being done on three other detainees after they claimed they were Ghanaians, not Malians, as suspected, he said. The raid shows that officials are bent on stopping any nonGhanaian from getting involved in artisanal mining, BBC has disclosed. The suspects are being screened at an immigration detention centre in the capital, Accra.
African First Ladies from across the continent will meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on July 2-3, 2013, during a summit aimed in accessing the important role First Ladies play in promoting women’s education, health and economic empowerment. The theme for the George W. Bush Institute’s African First Ladies Summit is ‘Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa. With support from ExxonMobil, the summit will bring together African First Ladies, government officials, private organizations, NGOs and academics to discuss best practices that can reap sustainable, replicable results, benefit women and strengthen society.
Egypt’s lawmakers lambast PM over Ethiopia dam Angry Egyptian lawmakers accused the country’s prime minister and government on Monday of doing nothing to prevent Ethiopia from completing a dam that threatens to leave Nile-dependent Egypt with a dangerous water shortage. Prime Minister Hesham Kandil had just finished addressing parliament about how the government planned to work diplomatically, legally and technically to negotiate with Ethiopia over the dam when the session heated up. He called the dam’s construction an “act of defiance” and stressed that Egypt will not give “a single drop of water,” but then hurriedly left the chamber despite calls for clarification over how to handle the situation if Ethiopia rejects overtures. “Egypt will turn to a graveyard” if the dam is completed, geologist and Egyptian lawmaker Khaled Ouda shouted to parliament. “The prime minister didn’t provide anything.”
Congolese govt, rebels to begin peace talk Members of the rebel March 23 Movement and the Congolese government are called on to work in earnest toward peace, U.N. special envoy Mary Robinson said. The former Irish president, serving as a U.N. special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, said she was encouraged by word the M23 rebel group may hold peace talks with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo. M23 are suspected of committing war crimes during their rebel campaign. A U.N. report in March said the rebel movement had stepped up its fighting in response to the deployment of a special peacekeeping brigade that’s sanctioned to take offensive measures to ensure DRC stability.
Car bombs attacks kill 22 in Iraq Militants detonated explosivesladen cars around two busy markets in central Iraq yesterday, killing 22 people and wounding dozens, the latest in a wave of violence ravaging the country. Attacks in Iraq have spiked to levels not seen since 2008. The surge in bloodshed, which follows months of protests by the country’s Sunni Arab minority against the Shiite-led government, is raising fears that Iraq is heading for another bout of sectarian violence. Yesterday’s deadliest attack occurred in Diyala province when three parked car bombs exploded virtually simultaneously around a wholesale fruit and vegetable market at the height of business in the town of Jidaidat al-Shatt. The town is just outside the provincial capital of Baqouba, about 60 kilometres (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad. The blasts killed 15 people and wounded 46. Soon after the explosions, security forces sealed the roads linking Baqouba to Baghdad in an apparent effort to prevent further attacks.
10 villages evacuated as river breaches new levee in Germany The swollen Elbe River breached another levee early yesterday on its relentless march toward the North Sea, forcing German authorities to evacuate 10 villages and shut down one of the country’s main railway routes. As the surge from the Elbe pushed into rural eastern Germany, there was some relief further upstream as the river slipped back from record levels in Magdeburg, the capital of Saxony-Anhalt state. To the south, the Danube hit a record high Sunday evening in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, then began to ease back Monday. Officials said the city escaped significant damage, and Prime Minister Viktor Orban said soldiers and rescue workers would shift their focus further south.
Two out of three people face hunger as hardship intensifies in Haiti The hardship of hunger abounds amid the stone homes and teepee-like huts in the mountains along Haiti’s southern coast. The hair on broomstick-thin children has turned patchy and orangish, their stomachs have ballooned to the size of their heads and many look half their age — the tell-tale signs of malnutrition. Mabriole town official Geneus Lissage fears that death is imminent for these children if Haitian authorities and humanitarian workers don’t do more to stem the hunger problems. “They will be counting bodies,” Lissage said, “because malnutrition is ravaging children, youngsters and babies.”
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
UNESCO rates Nigeria low in access to school
igeria is rated as having the highest number of children without access to schools, despite an encouraging global figure that has fallen to 57 million, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, in a report yesterday. More than half of the children missing out on school are now in subSaharan Africa. The last annual report showed that in some countries, including Nigeria, the problem is getting worse rather than better. In contrast, in south and west Asia there have been considerable gains, cutting the numbers of out-of-school children by two thirds in two decades. However the annual comparisons show that in Pakistan there were more children without schools in 2011 than in 2010. Despite a good global data the improvement is unlikely to be enough to meet the millennium pledge for primary education for all by 2015, the report stated. These latest figures are for 2011 and are a fall from an estimate of 61 million missing school in 2010. UNESCO’s Director General Irinia Bokova says: “We are at a critical juncture.” Each year there is a monitoring report from UNESCO measuring the world’s progress towards the goal of universal primary education - with recent years showing a stagnation after early gains.
But these latest numbers provide a more upto-date picture, ahead of a United Nations meeting on how to give fresh impetus to efforts to get all children into education. This update also shows that aid for basic education has fallen by 6% and that most of the major donors have cut their funding in the past year. It means that the UK is now ranked by UNESCO as the largest direct donor to basic education. The US had previously been the biggest donor, but it has cut its budget while the UK has continued to increase its spending, leaving the UK as the biggest donor in 2011. Germany, Australia and Norway have also increased their donations, but there have been budget cuts from France, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada. The pledge for universal primary education made by world leaders in 2000 seems increasingly likely to be missed - and there are already discussions about setting new
post-2015 targets. There had been a previous target set in 1990 to achieve this by 2000. When this was missed the goal had been moved forward to 2015. These latest mid-year figures do show some progress, but part of this is because previous estimates have been revised. The actual progress is about 2 million fewer children missing school, according to UNESCO. Malala Yousafzai, a teenage schoolgirl from Pakistan, has become an international campaigner for the right to education, after she had been shot by the Taliban last year. Pakistan has the second largest number of children without schools - although it has been making substantial improvements, with the third biggest increase in pupils in schools over the past five years. In terms of annual changes, Ethiopia and Uganda have made the biggest progress in getting pupils into schools.
Ex-CIA man revealed as US spy leak source
former CIA worker has revealed himself as the source of leaked information on a secret US spy programme that harvests Internet and phone records of US citizens and foreigners. Edward Snowden, a current employee of defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, said he leaked information on the Prism programme to protect “basic liberties for people around the world”. Snowden has fled to Hong Kong because he believed he wouldn’t get a fair trial in his home country, the journalist who broke the story said Monday. Glenn Greenwald of the British-based Guardian newspaper said Edward Snowden chose the semiautonomous Chinese region because it was the least bad option open to him. “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.” In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, the 29-year-old said he had no intention of hiding “because I have done nothing wrong”, but was aware that his actions had made him a target for US agencies.
The full interview was uploaded to the internet shortly after it was published by the newspaper. Snowden leaked a presentation on the Prism surveillance system, which allows the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI direct access to the servers of US internet firms such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL. It scooped emails, video chats, instant messages and more to track foreign suspects. The NSA is also collecting the telephone records of millions of US citizens, but not actual conversations. I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties. Snowden told The Guardian that he worked in IT security for the CIA and by 2007 was stationed with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland, where he had access to a range of classified documents. “Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he said. “I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”
Outgoing Pakistani president tells new leaders to stop militancy
akistan’s president, in what will likely be his last major speech to parliament, urged the new government yesterday to keep up the fight against militancy, one of the many problems facing the country. Asif Ali Zardari spoke hours after militants dressed as policemen and armed with assault rifles and rockets attacked trucks in Pakistan carrying supplies to U.S.-led NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, killing four people. The attack and the speech both drew attention to the continuing
threat militants pose to the stability of Pakistan. The May 11 elections marked the first time in Pakistan’s 65-year history that a civilian government completed its full term and handed over power in democratic elections. Previous governments have been toppled by military coups or sacked by presidents allied with the army. Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party was badly beaten in the elections. The victorious Pakistan Muslim League-N party of new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif campaigned
primarily on fixing the country’s economy, while pushing for peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups. In a wide-ranging speech, Zardari, now a largely powerless figure who has already said he won’t run again for the ceremonial presidency, bid Sharif ’s crew well on the economic front, but also urged them to clamp down on extremists who have killed thousands in Pakistan in the last decade. “Militancy, extremism and terrorism pose the greatest threat
to our national security,” Zardari said. As he has done many times, he carried to the podium with him a picture of his late wife Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani prime minister who was killed in a gunand-suicide bomb attack in late 2007. “The nation is united against militants,” the president said. “We need strong leadership to overcome the threat. We are ready to make peace with those willing to give up violence, but should be ready to use force against those who challenge the writ of the state.”
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Community Mirror Court grants bail to convicted councilors, clerk
““If we have a university that is meant for the children of the poor, we do not have a school.” LAGOS STATE GOVERNOR; BABATUNDE FASHOLA
he Special Anti-Robbery Squad led by the Officerin-Charge, Abba Kyari, of the Lagos State Police Command, has smashed a car theft syndicate. The gang had successfully snatched a Range Rover Sport Utility Vehicle, SUV, a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord 2011 model and a Toyota Prado Jeep, from their owners and had made plans to dispose of them.
Police smash car theft syndicate in Lagos It was gathered that the suspects were on their way to smuggling the stolen cars out of Lagos through the BadagrySeme border, when they were ambushed by the police following a tip off. The operatives were said to have laid ambush along the Ajamgbadi area of Ojo Local Government, and made a surprise swoop when the suspects drove to the spot.
Despite the surprise, the suspects engaged the operatives in a gun duel that lasted for minutes before they were overpowered and three of them gunned down. Police sources said the success of the exercise lay in the fact that the suspects were taken unawares and before they could regroup, they were overpowered, although he added that a police corporal was wounded in
the gun duel. He said, “An informant hinted us that a car theft syndicate was about driving some stolen cars out of Lagos from their hide-out in Ajamgbadi to Seme border and we laid an ambush and foiled their plans.” Confirming the story, the state Police Command Spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, said the raid was in line with the need to rid the state of criminals.
She said, “But the present police management has already warned criminals to relocate from Lagos. At least the CP, Umar Manko sounded that warning months back. We are not here for a tea party.” Although the corpses have since been deposited at one of the morgues in Badagry, the recovered vehicles have been moved to the Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Crisis brews over imposition of royal father CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
National Ballet Cultural Troupe of Cameroun performing at the inauguration of the 6th African Arts and Crafts Expo in Abuja, yesterday.
Developers warned against building on waterways EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
n a clear demonstration of concern over flooding of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, as a result of ongoing road construction, the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah has undertaken an assessment tour of affected parts of the town. Speaking at the end of the tour, he assured the people that government would put palliative measures in place to lessen their sufferings. While appealing to the residents to show understanding and cooperate by clearing their drainages to make for free flow of water, John Jonah assured them that government was doing everything to ad-
dress the problem. He directed the commissioner for works and infrastructure and other relevant ministries as well as agencies to work closely with the various contractors to create temporary channels to drain water from the affected areas. Describing the landform of Yenagoa and its environs as very low, he observed that though it is difficult to completely prevent flooding in the meantime, the administration would engage the services of experts to carry out relevant baseline studies with a view to constructing major drainages within the town. Rear Admiral John Jonah however, warned the people to resist the temptation of building on natural drainages, stating that henceforth,
government will not hesitate to deal with those who flout the existing land development and town planning laws. “The drainage problem has been a persistent one because people build on areas they are not supposed to. We have seen some channels that people have built across, thereby obstructing the flow of water. It does not encourage sustainable development and so we will do everything to stop that within the confines of existing urban and town planning laws. “Bayelsans should also help us; you don’t need to dump garbage on drainage path because if you do your house will be flooded. There are areas we have identified that need immediate intervention for
water to flow. But we recall that Yenagoa is a very low lying area. And so to avoid flooding would be a very difficult task but the report that we should open up has already been submitted. He was accompanied on the tour by the Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Lawrence Ewrudjakpo, Capital City Development, Mr. Zuwa Konugah, Information and Orientation, Markson Fefegha, Lands and Survey, Furoebi Akene and Special Projects, Fred Obuah. Others are, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Anapurere Awoli, Chief of Staff Government House, Chief Diekivie Ikiogha and Executive Secretary of Capital City Development Authority, Chief Iboro IgeIdaba.
here is palpable tension in Umuohiagu Autonomous Community in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State, as the people have vowed to resist the imposition of retired Justice Ambrose Egu as the paramount ruler. They warned of possible bloodbath if the government goes ahead to impose him on the community. The community accused the secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Anwukah for trying to foist retired Justice Egu alleged to be his in –law against their wish and demanded for immediate recognition of the Eze –elect, Chief Donatus Nzeribe Nwachukwu. The community spokesman, Obi Afulezi drew the attention of Governor Rochas Okorocha on the plot to destabilise the community. According to him, the people of Umuohiagu Community are lawabiding who have custom, tradition, culture and Ezeship constitution which has been in effect since 1977. “We are peace-loving and lawabiding with a warm disposition towards the administration. That we are calm must not be taken for granted as the truth remains that Umuohiagu, our ancestors, gods of the land and unborn generations will resist any attempt to impose Egu on them. “We are aware that the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Anwukah is the one insistent that no election would be held in Umuohiagu to enable the people chose their traditional ruler. Rather, he boasts that he would impose his friend and in-law, retired Justice Ambrose B.C. Egu on the people, at all cost”.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Court grants bail to convicted councilors, clerk SAM OLUWALANA
our officials of Ahoada East Local Government Council of Rivers State, who were imprisoned by the state High Court for contempt, have been granted bail by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, pending the determination of their appeal. The four, Emeka Gorden, Abraham Onwudiwe, Goodlive
Aliegbe and Okechukwu Odum were each sentenced to three months imprisonment with hard labour, by Justice George Omereji, for wilfully disobeying court order to reinstate the suspended council Vice Chairman, Hon. Britain Ewor. The presiding judge, Justice Ejembi Eko, granted them bail to the tune of N500, 000 with one surety each, resident in Ahoada East. He also advised them to go back to the lower
court and regularise their bail application. Counsel to the Vice chairman, Agent Ihua Maduenyi, said the bail was pending till the determination of the matter. Counsel to the applicants, Ayodeji Adedipe, expressed happiness on the liberal bail and affirmed that it would give his clients the opportunity to pursue their case,even as the upper court granted them right
to appeal the judgment as filed by their lead counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe. The three officials have been in the alleged impeachment of the council’s Vice Chairman, Britain Ewor, despite court orders to the contrary. The quartet has also defied further court orders to appear before it and to ensure the payment of arrears and allowances to due to Ewor within the period that he was impeached.
An enraged mob beating a man (middle) alleged of snatching a boy’s manhood on Broad Street, Lagos Island, yesterday.
Police investigates death of company boss HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI
he Benue State Police Command has swung into action to unravel the mystery behind the death of a Manager with West Africa Milk Company, WAMCO, Mr. Razaq Lukman. The Police Public Relations officer,PPRO, Mr. Daniel Ezeala said that one Daniel Terhemba , a colleague of the deceased reported that Lukman had not been seen at work. The police then swung into investigation and traced his car which was found about two kilometers to his house. A neighbor who spoke on condition of anonymity said he saw him on Saturday evening when he was driving out in his car, adding that we did not see him again until the police came and opened the door to his flat. “They found his corpse on the chair with his legs and
hands tied while a substance like acid was poured into his mouth”, the neighbor said. Ezeala enjoined the public to be vigilant with suspicious movements stressing that nefarious acts are gradually becoming commonplace the state capital and its environs adding that the command is on top of the situation.
Rotary donates to orphanages in Kaduna A ZA MSUE KADUNA
otary Club of Barnawa, District 9125 said it spent N15million on humanitarian activities in 2012 as part of contribution to alleviate poverty in Kaduna State. President of the club, Dr.Emma Nosiri stated this while presenting materials to two orphanage homes
Traders warned against fake measuring cups ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
he President of the Ekiti State branch of Market Women Association of Nigeria, Chief Omowaye Oso, has cautioned traders against using fake measuring tin, popularly known as ‘kongo’ and start using those provided by the state government. Oso, who spoke in Ado Ekiti during a visit to the Commissioner for Trade, Investments and Innovations, Mr. Debo Ajayi, said the government would not hesitate to
PHOTO: TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
penalise any trader caught involving in exploiting unsuspecting customers with the fake tins. She pledged the support of the association to government’s policies and programmes aimed at boosting the socio-economic activities of the state. Speaking, Ajayi, who decried use of fake tins by some market women warned that anyone caught, would be made to face the wrath of the law. He therefore solicited the support of the women for the administration in achieving its development agenda.
in Chikun Local Government Area.. While presenting the items to proprietors of Shelter in Christ and Missionary Sisters Orphanages at Sabon Tasha and Unguwan Romi, said the gesture was aimed at improving the welfare of the motherless babies. He called on wealthy individuals to assist vulnerable orphans noting that his organisation would continue to render philanthropic services to the needy. Nosiri said the club had donated ambulance to St.Gerald Catholic Hospital Kakuri, Kaduna, construction of boreholes, and distribution of school materials among others. He said “Today we feel it is important to put smile on the faces of children in orphanages in Kaduna. We had already donated a new ambulance to St. Gerrald Catholic Hospital among numerous things we have done to communities. Rotary club will continue to offer humanitarian services to the people. Wealthy individuals should come to the aid of orphans too.
Residents advised against rumour mongering HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
ollowing the crisis in the ancient town of Ile Oluji in Ile Oluji/ Okeigbo Local Gover nment Area of the Ondo State over rumor on the relocation of a Federal Polytechnic, the indigenes and residents have been advised to always verify the truth before taking action. Bishop of the Cathedral of St. Peter Anglican Church, Ile Oluji, Rt. Ven. S Adekunle gave the advice at the at the funeral service for the late wife of the Chair man of Ondo State chapter of the Action Cong ress of Nigeria, Victoria Adesoji. Adekunle who war ned against rumour peddling and falsehood, said development can only exist in an atmosphere where people live in peace and har mony. The clerg y noted that despite the level of education of the indigenes, it was disheartening that some people could act on rumours to cause confusion in the town. He called on the elite not to be too far from the people especially in rising to the needs of the less privile ged in the society. He said “More than 90 percent of the indigenes are educated, we should not rely on rumour, the educated ones should come home and help the less privile ged and youths in the society. Come home it is your land, support the land and kingdom so that peace will reign.” Delivering his ser mon, Adekunle described death as inevitable for every human being, and urged the people to live as if tomorrow will never come saying “one thing that is certain is that we will all go home to meet our creator and give account of our stewardship”. He also called on the people to be closer to God and described late Madam Adesoji as a Christian, gentle, accommodating and caring wife and mother. He however called on the family to join hands in building the le gacy left behind by their mother.
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For the Record
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Review of revenue allocation formula: The journey so far Being the text of a presentation by the chairman, Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Elias N. Mbam, FNSE at an interactive meeting with media executives on Friday, June 7, 2013 in Lagos Gentlemen of the Press
t is my honour to welcome you all to this interactive session specially convened to sensitize our friends in the media and all Stakeholders on the on-going review of the existing revenue sharing formula being carried out by the Commission. I am specially delighted to be in the midst of the crème de la crème of the vibrant Nigerian media who have consistently supported the Commission in all its programmes and activities. As you may be aware, the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), by virtue of Paragraph 32 (b) Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended), is empowered “to review, from time to time, the revenue allocation formula and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities; provided that any revenue formula which had been accepted by an Act of the National Assembly shall remain in force for a period of not less than five years from the date of commencement of the Act”. In pursuance of the above Constitutional mandate therefore, the Commission has commenced the process of reviewing the existing revenue allocation formula, in line with Section 162 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended), which provides that “The President, upon receipt of advice from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, shall table before the National Assembly, proposals for revenue allocation from the Federation Account, and in determining the formula, the National Assembly shall take into account, the allocation principles, especially those of population, equality of states, internal revenue generation, landmass, terrain as well as population density: provided that the principle of derivation shall be constantly reflected in any approved formula as not being less than thirteen percent of the revenue accruing into the Federation Account directly from any natural resources”. The review shall propose a new revenue allocation formula for distribution of revenue from the Federation Account
amongst the: a) Three(3) tiers of Government, i.e Federal, State and Local Governments(Vertical Revenue Allocation Formula); and b) States, and Local Governments(Horizontal Revenue Allocation Formula). In order to ensure a credible, fair, just and equitable new Revenue Allocation Formula, the Commission has mapped out programmes and processes that will guarantee full involvement and participation by all Stakeholders and indeed all Nigerians in the review exercise. The processes involve invitation for submission of memoranda, consultations with major Stakeholders, sensitization and advocacy, Zonal public hearing, collection, collation and analysis of relevant data in revenue sharing formula, studies and research on fiscal matters, visitation and study of fiscal arrangement of other similar federations, detailed study and analysis of the responsibilities and expenditure profiles of each tier of Government amongst others. Accordingly, the Commission last week rolled out advertorials in both the broadcast and the print media inviting memoranda from the Federal, State and Local Governments, Members of the general Public, the Civil Society, the Mass Media, the Academia and all Stakeholders, towards the preparation of a new revenue allocation formula. You may also recall that a similar exercise was carried out last year. However, this readvertisement is to provide another opportunity for those who may not have responded to the earlier invitation and/ or those who wish to make additional submissions to do so NOW. Furthermore, the Commission this week convened a 3-Day Multi-Agency meeting involving the Surveyor-General of the Federation, DG National Boundary Commission and the Surveyors-General of the 36 States and FCT and other relevant Stakeholders to deliberate on issues relating to the application of Terrain Types and the implication of the ruling of the International Court of Justice(ICJ) as it affects landmass figures of some States and Local Government Areas in the Horizontal Sharing of Revenue from the Fed-
Engr. Elias N. Mbam
SHALL RE -
MAIN IN FORCE FOR A PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN FIVE YEARS FROM THE DATE OF COMMENCEMENT OF THE eration Account. The Commission has also programmed to embark on Sensitization visits to all the 36 States and FCT later this Month ahead of the Zonal Public Hearing which is scheduled to start in July, 2013. The objective of the Sensitization visits to the States is for the Commission to brief the Stakeholders at the States and Local Government levels and the general public on the review exercise and to implore them to actively participate in the process. It may also be necessary to inform you that the Commission has visited other similar Federations including Austria, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Spain and Malaysia to understudy their fiscal arrangement with a view to sharing experiences thereby enriching our considerations in the review exercise in line with global best practices. Furthermore, the Commission has carried out extensive studies in some fiscal matters relating to Revenue Sharing Formula including: Literature Review on Revenue Allocation from pre-independence to date; Compilation and Analysis of Budgeting and
Expenditure Profiles of the Federal, States and Local Governments in Nigeria 2007-2010; Factors and Proxies for the Horizontal Revenue Allocation Formula in Nigeria; Study on Assignment of Weights to the Constitutional Functions in the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution(Parts I and II)-Exclusive and Concurrent Lists; Study of the Application of Derivation in Revenue Sharing: Emerging Issues and Challenges in Nigeria and the Study of the Revenue Generation Capacities of 3 Tiers of Government Including their constitutional responsibilities. Also, direct consultation with major Stakeholders is ongoing and we expect to reach all Sectors of the Nigerian society At this juncture, I wish to assure Nigerians of the Commission’s commitment to continue to play its role as a stabilizing force promoting unity and cohesion and ensuring fairness, equity and justice in the allocation of the nation’s commonwealth amongst the different constituents of the Federation. Accordingly, the Commission will ensure that the new revenue formula shall
guarantee this position and reflect the wishes of majority of Nigerians. In conclusion, I have the honour to inform Nigerians that all things being equal, the Commission will in line with the Law forward an advice on a new Revenue Sharing Formula to Mr. President, Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in December, 2013 for onward transmission to the National Assembly. I am therefore using this medium to call on all Stakeholders; Federal, States and Local Governments, the mass media, civil society organizations, the Private Sector and indeed all Nigerians to submit memoranda that will in the final analysis enrich the content and direction of the expected revenue allocation formula and participate actively in all the processes. I also wish to appeal to our friends in the media as partners for good governance and public enlightenment to join us in our advocacy and mass mobilization efforts to encourage Nigerians to support the processes that will lead to the emergence of a just, fair and equitable revenue formula that can stand the test of time. I specially wish to implore the media not to allow themselves to be used by any individual, organization or Government to politicize this process. Thank you for your kind attention.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (159)
“Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.” –Richard Bach *** You Are Here For A Reason! The fact that you are alive today is a proof that your best is yet to come. Oh yes, you have been beaten and battered by the experiences of life. Oh yes, people have betrayed you and let you down on many occasions. But the good news is that you’re alive today to witness your lifting tomorrow. You are a person of destiny. You are not in this world by accident. The world needs something that only you can contribute. The world is not complete without your voice. Never for once believe that you are not relevant to beauty of the universe. The pattern of the universe is never complete without your own colour. I want you to celebrate your life! You are one of the privileged survivors. You survive daily for a reason. Never rest or sleep till you discover while you were born and then get busy and go to work. We need your VOICE! PLEASE!!! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE
Australian cafe accepting kisses in place of cash
n Australian cafe said it is allowing customers to pay for coffee by smooching their sweeties from 9-11 a.m., but it has to be “a real kiss.” The Metro St. James cafe in Sydney said customers who come in during the 2-hour window every mor ning in June can keep their money if they show their love with a kiss. “We’ ll watch you. It
has to be a real kiss ... a true kiss. I can see if it is a fake kiss. I am
kind of a specialist,” a cafe worker says in a promotional video.
500 pound safe stolen from Florida home
Florida man who thought his 500 pound, bolted-down steel safe would protect his valuables in a burglary says he was proved wrong when the safe was stolen. Albert Owler was alerted in January by a neighbor his Broward County home had been targeted. Owler’s first
thought: At least we have the safe. “Safe” turned out to be a misnomer. The burglars unbolted the massive unit and managed to carry it out of the house, The Miami Herald said. The safe held 17 years’ worth of birthday and anniversary jewelry gifts
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for Owler’s wife, important papers and a collection of 12 skeet shooting and other guns, many given to Owler by his late father. Other items from the home not in the safe were also taken, police said. The guns were valued at $20,000. No estimate was given for the missing jewelry.
Couple paying their bill with a kiss
“At Metro St. James we don’t want your money. Just your kisses!”
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Man held for attempting to kill FRSC official WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
commercial motorist, Mr. Samuel Emmanuel, has been arrested for attempting to kill an official of the Federal Road Safety
Commission (FRSC) in Kogi State. It was learnt that the motorist committed the offence on the LokojaAjaokuta Road when he refused to obey the FRSC official’s order to stop for offences bordering on
overloading and using plastic number plate. The driver, who was said to have stopped momentarily at the middle of the road, decided to speed off when he noticed that a road marshal was already standing in front of
his vehicle, a Nissan taxi marked FCT XC 950 KUJ. The road marshal was said to have escaped narrowly by jumping on the bonnet and clinging to door frames of the vehicle. Emmanuel was alleged
to have refused to stop and decided to drag the road marshal to Fen Junction area on Old Kabba-Okene Road, a distance of about 20 kilometres to the spot where he refused the order. The suspect was, however, overpowered with the help of traffic wardens and other members of the public at the junction. The driver was then taken to the FRSC office where the vehicle and its particulars were impounded. The FRSC Sector Commander, Mr. Olakunle
Motajo, confirmed the incident, adding that the driver had been handed over to the police for prosecution. The driver is to appear in court today for attempted murder, dangerous driving and overloading. Motajo pointed out that the decision to prosecute the driver was to serve as a deterrent to others. He recalled the case of a road marshal killed by a hit-and-run driver during the last Easter period, noting that the driver responsible for the killing is still at large.
NSCDC partners Army to combat terrorists PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
L-R: Representative of the National Security Adviser, Mr. Laseinde Layiwola; Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda and DirectorGeneral, Voice of Nigeria and Chairman, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, Mallam Abubakar Jijiwa, at the 58th General Assembly of the organisation in Bauchi, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Cleric sues Rep over unpaid N2.3m commission
JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
cleric has sued the lawmaker representing Barkin Ladi/ Riyom Federal Constituency of Plateau State before a Jos High Court for non-payment of his N2.3 million commission. Pastor Michael Gulu claimed that he assisted the lawmaker, Hon. Simon Mwadkon, to buy a property at No 38 Ahmadu Bello Way, Jos, but the lawmaker refused to pay his five per cent commission.
The cleric, through his counsel, Mr Wuyang Bwakat, is asking for another N1 million as damages for the inconveniences caused him. Gulu alleged that sometimes in June 2011, one Godwin Makeri, an estate valuer, approached him for prayers over an unsold property worth N70 million. He said Makeri claimed that he was given the property to sell, but for over three years he could not get a buyer and needed God’s intervention. Gulu added that it was af-
ter the prayer that he got in touch with Mwadkon, who indicated interest to buy the property with a promise to pay him five percent commission. He said: “But after the transaction, Mwadkon, who bought the property for N45 million, refused to pay the commission. “The defendant has refused and ignored to honour his obligation by using one excuse or the other. It was, however, learnt that the defendant began to send hoodlums to the plaintiff to intimidate him.
Gulu then reported the issue to the police which invited both parties and advised them to settle the matter amicably. But thereafter, the lawmaker refused pay the commission, after his spiritual father, Revd Nanyah Goifa of ECWA Bishara, Jankwano, Jos, intervened. Gulu prayed the court to compel Mwadkon to pay the N2.3 million commission. The case, which is before Justice Albert Dandam, came up for mention yesterday. It was, however, adjourned till July 4, 2013.
Surrender political parties’ affairs to voters, leaders told JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
igeria’s elected public office holders have been called upon to allow the people handle the political parties’ affairs. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Bello Masari, made the call at the weekend in Daura during a meeting with a group championing the political ideals of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential candidate in the last general election, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. Masari said a situation where elected office holders control political parties at
the expense of the electorate should not be acceptable. Stressing the political office holders were elected by the electorate, he said: “It is abnormal for elected public office holders to usurp the powers of party officials by forcibly claiming leadership of the parties. “Usurping the powers of party officials by elected political office holders is undemocratic; such action, in fact, undermines the practice of genuine democracy in Nigeria. “For an example, a governor, who is sponsored by a political party, instead of being answerable to the party, will suddenly assume the position of leader of the par-
ty. This should not be so.” The former Speaker, however, noted that Nigeria “is at a stage where nobody, even from a political party, can talk to a state governor because he is too powerful.” He called on the people, especially lovers of democracy to “wrestle” the control of political parties from the elected office holders. According to him, elected office holders must be answerable to the party leadership and not vice versa, noting that the challenge confronting the country “is that there are no leaders, only big men.” Masari, however, canvassed the need to ensure justice at all levels of government, adding that perva-
sive injustice breeds insecurity. He said that there would be peace if Nigerians would be just in their dealings with one another and the leaders ensured justice to all. A chieftain of CPC, Dr Mustapha Inuwa, said the yet to be registered All Progressives Congress (APC) was answer to the yearning for change by Nigerians. Inuwa, who appealed for support of the APC, wondered why Nigerians were suffering despite the country being blessed with enormous resources. He identified the poor leadership system in the country as issue that inflicted pains and hardship on Nigerians.
he National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has said the decision to partner with the Nigeria Army in the training of its officers and men in basic counter terrorism is to make the country a safe place for all. NSCDC Director of Training, Mr. Gabriel Abafi, spoke at the weekend at the Nigerian Army Training Centre (NATRAC) in Kontagora, Niger State. It was during the passing out parade of the 462 NSCDC officers trained by the Army in basic counter terrorism. Abafi said: “Looking at what is happening in Nigeria today, it is not all about deploying people, but it is about synergy. Even in our homes, there are crises and is through partnership that we manage them. “It is important to note that there is no end to training. The more you are trained, the better you are equipped to do other things. I am impressed with the level of training provided for the group here at NATRAC. As you can see, the trainees are in high spirit, which means they like the training.” The director added that to successfully carry its mandate across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), NSCDC would require logistics from the various states, especially patrol vehicles as its head quarters
could not do it alone. He said NSCDC oversees the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, pointing out that even if the agency wanted to deploy 37 vehicles, there are still the local governments to contend with. Abafi, however, urged local government chairmen and governors to assist the agency in term of logistics Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, said that the war against insurgency called for the collective efforts of all. He said: “Apart from security agencies, every Nigerian is expected to partake in the war.” Represented by the NATRAC Commandant, MajGen. A.S. Audu, Ihejirika explained that after the training, the Army expected the corps to deploy the trained officers and men in groups to ensure proper synergy between them so that when the need arises, they acted in unity. He said: “We are ready to train as many people as possible to contain the current security challenges facing the country. Those agencies which benefited from the training wrote to the Chief of Army Staff and it was subject to his approval that they were trained. “Therefore, any agency that wants the Nigerian Army to train its personnel should simply do the same because the more people that are trained, the more the country overcomes the challenges as quickly as possible.”
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
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Awo’s leadership style elevated South West –Clark OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
oremost Ijaw national leader and politician, Chief Edwin Clark yesterday said that the dynamic leadership style of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the leader of the Yoruba race brought much development to the region and elevated the South-West far
above other regions. Clark, who stated this in Abuja while playing host to a women group under the auspices of the Dynamic Women International from six South-West states who paid him a courtesy visit, said the leadership style of the late sage made Yoruba land to be the most educated and sophisticated part of the country.
CNPP, CPC, lawyers fault INEC order on campaigns CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
than any other person. But Sagay disagreed with the parties. “It is specifically stated in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that electoral campaigns for political office holders can only take place 90 days before the schedule date. “I believe INEC is completely right by stopping all sorts of campaigns by politicians now.” He added that there was a limitation placed on political campaigns as to when it must be administered. Ali also agreed with Sagay’s position, saying, “INEC is completely right by banning all political parties from embarking on campaigns before the set dates. “INEC is very correct in stopping all politicians and political parties from embarking on election campaigns now until the timetable has been drawn.” Ali noted that the main function of INEC was to regulate elections and also set modalities on how election and its campaigns must be conducted. However, Agbaje differed on the position canvassed by the two SANs, describing the order as undemocratic. He argued that the step taken by INEC was a clear violation of individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “As far as I am concerned, the provision of Electoral Act which commits the electoral body from stopping the political office holders from campaigning anytime is an affront to the freedom of expression under the Nigerian constitution. “The act is undemocratic and the law can neither enhance our national security nor deepen our democratic process,” Agbaje said. He added that INEC should go and look for other jobs to do instead of infringing on people’s constitutional rights.
Meanwhile, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, yesterday in Abuja said said that the commission was determined to ensure that the 2015 elections were more remarkable than those of 2011. “The success of credible elections is not the responsibility of INEC alone, but the joint responsibility of all enlightened citizens in the electoral process,” he said. The chairman said that the citizens must be sensitised, enlightened and educated on how well to discharge their civic responsibilities. Jega attributed the success of the 2011 general elections to the commitment of the media. He gave the commendation at a meeting with the management of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN. Jega said that the commission would forever appreciate, sustain the partnership and nurture it to greater heights. He noted that Nigeria was blessed with patriotic and competent media organisations that had contributed toward the promotion of good governance in the country. The chairman said that voter education had become imperative as the nation approached the 2015 general elections, noting that there was need to deepen democracy through credible elections. Jega said that INEC also benefited from inputs by all stakeholders which resulted in substantive achievements. The chairman said that the partnership with FRCN and other credible organisations would assist in doing the right thing for effective public enlightenment on voter education. He said that the commission would cooperate with the FRCN and utilise the available resources for a better result come 2015.
According to him; “This is the type of unity we want in this country, where there will be no segregation and sentiments among all the tribes. These women have come all the way from the South-West to greet me on my birthday, this is highly commendable. “The Yoruba, because of the activities and leadership style of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, are by no means the most sophisticated and educated people in the country. Leadership in
Yoruba land is not decided by wealth, power or money but rather by positive impact, no leader can impose himself on the Yoruba. “I am happy that you are supporting my son, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Bamanga Tukur. In my several visits to Ikenne, I have fruitful discussions with members of the Yoruba Unity Forum led by our mama, H. I. D. Awolowo. We are all together as SouthWest and we shall continue to be one.”
Earlier, the leader of the group, Chief Mrs. Bola Doherty, had stated that they were in Abuja to rejoice with Chief Clark on his 86th birthday and prayed that God will grant the octogenarian long life and prosperity. Chief Doherty further stated that the women were around to show solidarity and support to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, under Alhaji
Bamanga Tukur. According to her; “We are here to show solidarity that we are supporting Jonathan in 2015. Politics starts and ends in the South-West. We are backing Bamanga Tukur. “Jonathan is God’s chosen and anointed, God has built Jonathan and nobody can bring him down, we assure you that when you look back, we will always be there.” States represented are Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos.
L-R: Chairman, Technical Investigative Panel on System Collapse, Mr. Fatai Olapade; Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi and Minister for Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, at the inauguration of the members of the panel in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Lagos gets 14-day ultimatum to release under-aged from prison WALE IGBINTADE
he Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative, PRAI, yesterday gave the Lagos State government a 14day ultimatum to release more than seven underaged children languishing in Kirikiri maximum prison. The group, in a petition dated June 7, 2013 written to the AttorneyGeneral and Commis-
sioner for Justice, Lagos State, disclosed that the affected children were sentenced by Magistrate Jadesola Adeyemi sitting in Alausa, Ikeja on May 2, 2013. In a letter written by its Director, Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, the group said the under-aged children were allegedly arrested at Oshodi at about 10.00pm while on their way home and were sentenced to 390 days imprisonment by Magistrate
Adeyemi. Some of the affected children are; Miss Tawa Adeyemi, 13 years; Victor Bamidele, 15 years; Adesanya Rotimi, 15 years; Muritala Mumin, 17 years; Adeyemi Abiodun, 16 years; Seun Akinyemi, 16 years and Oladejo Waliyu, 17years, respectively. The group said; “We were also informed that about 64 were remanded at Badagry prison, 64 remanded at Kirikiri me-
Dosunmu: Another June 12 defender gone –Fashola MURITALA AYINLA
agos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday joined other prominent Nigerians to mourn the passing on of a chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition, NADECO and second republic minister, Dr. Wahab Dosunmu, describing the deceased as “one of the most passionate defenders of the June 12 mandate of Chief M. K. O.
Abiola.” In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, Governor Fashola noted that Dr Dosunmu was a man who contributed his quota to his state and nation as an astute politician, brilliant technocrat and rights activist, adding that he would be missed by all. Describing the passage as “a great loss, not only to the Dosunmu family, but to the whole of Nige-
ria,” Fashola declared. “Dr Dosunmu was a distinguished politician and a brilliant man who made great contributions to the development and awareness of human rights in this country. “He was one of the most passionate defenders of the June 12 mandate of Chief Moshood Abiola. This is a period of time which, perhaps, best sums up the drive and passion for justice which defines Alhaji Dosunmu’s character.
dium prison out of which 30 had been transferred to Kirikiri maximum prison while 36 are presently serving terms at the Kirikiri female prison.” The group maintained that the rights of the detained children have been violated by the state government through the activities of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences. The group added that no lawyer represented the detained children and neither was any charge read to them in a language they understood. The group further alleged that the detained children were told by the official of Lagos State to plead guilty, warning that there would be dare consequences for doing otherwise. The petitioner stated that the right of the children as enshrined under Section 36 of the Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right were violated.
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Rail line pedestals.
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Lagos rail line under construction.
Lagos rail: Bringing revolutionary transportation to the citizens
Few years after the Lagos State Government started infrastructural renewal, Lagosians are now having a mental picture of how the ongoing Lagos metro rail would look like when completed. MURITALA AYINLA and DAYO AYEYEMI take a look at the progress so far made to bring this monumental project to fruition.
hen the administration of Mr. Babatunde Fashola began the implementation plan of its multipurpose infrastructural renewal four years, many of the residents were apprehensive of having their properties demolished to make room for roads. Some buildings were completely demolished, while others were partially demolished to pave way for the 10-lane expressway. Many saw the action as punitive, even as some challenged government’s action in court. But today, the situation has changed. Those familiar with the Badagry Expressway, before commencement of the light rail project will not forget in a hurry, that many houses built decades ago, including hospitals, police stations, mosques, churches, schools and banks were reduced to rubbles. They now exist only in memory of residents on the Orile Badagry highway. What replaced these structures now are magnificent rail stations, 10-lane Expressway with millennium pedestrian bridges, covered and powered by solar energy. Added to these, are the train tracks in between the -lanes. On some of them, are light rail bridges running across canals, roads, lagoons and marsh land. According to the state government, all the projects are designed to ease the bottleneck that have for long characterised transportation in Lagos. Hence, many residents cannot wait for the completion of this multi-billion naira project. On many occasions, the government had promised the early commencement of the operation of the light rail, but till now the project is yet to be completed. According the Lagos State Metropolitan Transport Authority, LAMATA the supervising agency for the project, the light rail will consist of blue and red lane running across the metropolis If everything goes according to plans, commuters and motorists groaning over the hectic traffic situation on Lagos-Badagry Expressway to Lagos Island may begin to enjoy the benefits of rail service, which first phase is due for completion by December 2013.
Already, infrastructure work of the project has extended to the National Theatre at Iganmu. However, people are asking how the ongoing infrastructure would link Iddo and Marina from the National Theatre. On completion, the Blue line light rail scheme will be 27km long, connecting Okokomaiko to Marina. Shedding more light on the project , the External Relations Specialist of LAMATA, Mr Kolawole Ojelabi, said the light rail project spanned Okomaiko to Marina, adding that its first phase commenced from Mile 2 to the National Theatre. According to him, LAMATA is responsible for the infrastructure work, while the private sector will be charged with operating the rail project. He hinted that the infrastructure work on the first phase would be completed in December, adding that the second phase would commence from the National Theatre to Marina on the Island. According to him, from the National Theatre, the infrastructure would be constructed on elevated platform over the bridge to link Iddo, where it will run over the Lagoon to Marina. “Most of the route will be on the surface, running east-west, in the central reservation of the rebuilt Badagry Expressway between Okokomaiko and Iganmu. The line will run on elevated structure from Iganmu along the south side of the expressway passing the junction with Eric Moore Road, crossing south of the National Theatre to Iddo, then south to Lagos Island with a terminus at Marina,” he said. It would be recalled in April 2008, the Lagos State Government approved N70 billion for the construction of the Okokomaiko-IddoMarina Line, with a completion date of 2011. Advisory services were provided by CPCS Transcom Limited, an infrastructure development consulting firm based in Ottawa, Canada. Construction actually commenced in January 2010, and completion is
One of the stations being built.
LAMATA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INFRASTRUCTURE WORK, WHILE THE
PRIVATE SECTOR WILL BE CHARGED WITH OPERATING THE RAIL PROJECT now expected in 2015. The Blue Line is being built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation,CCECC. The Blue Line will run for 27.5 km from Marina to Okokomaiko, with 13 stations. End-to-end journey time will be approximately 35 minutes. It is being built as a high capacity, electrically powered rail mass transit system. A Maintenance and Storage Facility, MSF, will be constructed at Okokomaiko, with a track connection from the Blue Line to the depot. The entire line will operate over a secure and exclusive right-of-way, with no level crossings and no uncontrolled access by pedestrians or vehicles. Lagos State is financing construction of the Blue Line from its own resources. A concession contract is being awarded to finance, supply and operate the railway equipment, including electric power, signalling, trains, and fare collection. Lagos State Governor, Mr, Babatunde Fashola, had recently old some journalists, that the Lagos-Badagry Expressway project was awarded to two contractors, Messrs Julius Berger, which is constructing the 10 lane road and Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation building the Light Rail section of the road.
He stated that because of the piling work which CCECC has to complete before the road is filled; Julius Berger had to step aside until that is completed. He said, “We have two major contractors on the road, Julius Berger, carrying out road surfacing, while China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is handling the rail line. We asked Julius Berger to stop while CCECC completes the piling on the road. “Julius Berger cannot handover the road because any time the project is completed, they sign off and they have not in this case. Besides, there is going to be 11 pedestrian crossings between Alaba, Orile and National Theatre and they have to drive in piles along the road. As it stands, it is like a building you have completed but cannot paint until all the external works are finished”. In order to avoid those problems, the governor said the Phase 2 from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko has been awarded. “The reason we have two contractors in the first instance is that we wanted Julius Berger to build the roads. There were a lot of things under that road which the other contractors who bid for it road did not take into consideration, while Julius Berger found them, ” he said. He said, “The most difficult part of the road is from Eric Moore to Mile 2 and we thought they should complete it. The CCECC is building the rails on the same road so they were getting in each other’s way, which constituted a nightmare. “The current phase of the road from Eric Moore to Mile 2, consists of seven kilometres of 10 lanes totalling 70 kilometres with two contractors in one place.” The second line, the Red Line, will run from Marina to Agbado. The line will share the existing 30 metre wide Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, Right-of-Way.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Dana crash: When memories bring back unanswered questions One year after the ill fated flight 992 belonging to Dana Airlines crashed at Iju Ishaga,Lagos State, the relatives of victims are still crying out over unpaid compensation. MURITALA AYINLA reports that in the face of competing claims, the victims’ relatives are still in the dark as to when they will be paid.
Black box of the ill-fated craft. B
Foreign experts searching for the Black box
Remains of the charred aircraft aircraft.
or many years to come, the memories of the unfortunate Dana Airline crash would continue to linger in the minds many Nigerians. The ill-fated Boeing McDonnell Douglas (MD- 83) belonging to the airline that crashed into buildings at Iju Ishaga in Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area killing all the passengers on board, including residents on the ground. On that fateful Sunday, June 3rd 2012, the ill-fated Flight 992 had flown in from Abuja to Lagos and was minutes away to the airport when the plane crashed. The pilot, Peter Waxtan, an American, had planned to make it his last flight in Nigeria. The plane crashed on the properties of Pastor Daniel Omowumi and other residents in the area. In one fell swoop, storey buildings went up in flames as the wings of the ill-fated aircraft was also engulfed in fire. Lives were lost, dreams shattered and hopes dashed as many promising Nigerians and foreign experts perished in the crash. It became a harvest of tragedies as residents on whose properties the air craft crashed were in confusion. “We did not know what to save; the burning properties or our neighbours who were lying in the pool of their own blood,”an eyewitness said. The Lagos State Fire Service had hectic time,even as they were assisted by hundreds of other people to control the
IT IS EASY TO BLAME THE INSURANCE COMPANY, BUT DANA AIR HAS TO SET UP MEASURES TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE ARE TREATED WITH RESPECT inferno. The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency LASEMA, the National Emergency Management Authority, NEMA and other agencies took charge of injured victims. For those whose relatives were on board, it was a colossal loss, while residents who lost their loved ones at the crash site would forever mourn the painful deaths. Some of them are the three kids whose parents sent on errand shortly before the crash. Joel (11), Chisom (9) and Esther Okechukwu (7) are now orphans. For months, the remains of the unidentified victims underwent series of DNA tests to ascertain the true identity. There were also tragi- drama among the relatives who fought over the remains of victims that got burnt beyond recognition but the DNA tests by pathologists, led by Professor John Obafunwa settled the dispute. Many victims’ relative claimed they were subjected to unnecessary stress before they could retrieve their corpses.
The first solemn anniversary at the crash T ssite afforded the victims’ relatives opporttunity to shower encomiums on Governor Babatunde Fashola on the roles of his adB ministration in ably managing the events m that followed the disaster. t Speaking at the first remembrance of the victims and unveiling of the cenotaph, the Director of Human Resources, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs Chizoba Mojekwu who lost a cousin and eight colleagues praised the governor for standing by the victims’ relatives. Amid tears, she said: “He made us realise we are human because were too rough and driven by our emotion, he reasoned and treated as humans beings. We cannot but say, “Thank You”. You do not know that what you did have affected us, what you did has made a huge difference in the lives of the families present. Our actions and inaction make difference in the time of crisis, I have learnt from your action and I appreciate.”She said amidst tears. Although, cenotaphs have been erected in memory of the departed in Lagos and Abuja, but one year after the accident, victims of the crash are still battling with issue of compensation both from the management of Dana Air and state government,as relatives of the passengers are yet to be fully compensated. Although, the Managing Director of Dana Air, Mr. Jacky Hathiramani, claimed that no fewer than 23 of the 125 families have received full compensation of $100,000 (N15.5m) as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, but relatives of the victims especially those killed on ground debunked the claims. Dr Ben Ayene who lost eight relatives to the crash, decried the delay in the technical report of cause of the crash, even as he bemoaned the continuous operation of the airline in spite of the National Assembly order to suspend it. He said: “Dana Air is flying despite the motion passed by the National Assembly that it should be grounded and the license withdrawn. This is because no official report has been presented since the incident. The airline is operating because when such incident happens; Nigerians only complain but fail to take drastic measure to mitigate and forestall another occurrence. These are things that do more harm than good. Among us, we have what it takes to constructively engage the aviation sector and those in the authority, the blood of our loved ones cannot be shed in vain.”
Mojekwu decried the inability of the Dana Airline, Accident Investigation Bureau,AIB, and the Federal Government to publish the detailed report on cause of the crash. She continued:” Like many families here we have questions that have not been answered about what happened. We are asking these questions not to apportion blame but to understand and find pleasure and most importantly, ensure it does not happen again.” “Unfortunately, these answers remain elusive and those who can help either refuse or maybe do not know how to help. Amidst tears, she repeated:” I say we are asking not to apportion blame but because we want as nation that this does not happen again. Tragedy happens; we can take all the precaution but things do happen. How we react to it becomes critical. “The issue of what really happened to the aircraft remains unanswered. There is still the issue of compensation. It is easy to blame the insurance company, but Dana Air has to set up measures to ensure that people are treated with respect. For customer service, a reputation is built during tragedies like this, a time like this tells a lot about who we really are. May be NCA will compel other airlines to ensure this should not happen again.” Meanwhile, as some are accusing the management of the ill-fated aircraft of not fulfilling the compensation procedure earlier promised when the crash occurred, others are accusing the state government of building a cenotaph on their land, thus worsening their plight. But the government on the other hand, is yet to state its position on the plight of those whose land the cenotaph is built. As at now, many residents whose houses were demolished to pave way for the network of roads around the crash site are still waiting for compensation by the government. One of the victim’s Steven Abuyere is still fighting over the exclusion of his mother name on the cenotaph wall. He insisted his mother’s name is not Hurriyah Lawal as engraved on the memorial cenotaph. According to him, his mother bought the fight ticket from Hurriyah Lawal, when the later could no longer travel on that fateful day. But a year after, the Lagos State Government is yet to rectify the error. Also, the names of the seven cabin crew were not listed on the cenotaph, which again, raises serious questions mark as to how government values the victims.
Waterskiing slalom (women) Vol. 03 No. 640
Imbibing the Madiba spirit
or the umpteenth time, the alert sounded again at the weekend over the health condition of South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Madiba Mandela who was, again, hospitalized in his battle against lung infection. Unlike in previous instances, the officials were not confident in dismissing the health challenges of the elder statesman like they did before, thereby raising anxiety not only in South Africa, but also across the world. His condition was described as “serious but stable”. Mandela, at 94, has become an enig-
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
1.5 buoy on a 10.25m line at 55 km/h (34.18 mph) by Regina Jaquess (USA) at Santa Rosa, Florida, USA, on 24 October 2010.
he Black Stars have pitched camp in South Africa to prepare for Sunday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Lesotho in Maseru. The Ghanaians had arrived in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon, 24 hours after beating Sudan 3-1 at the Al Merreikh Stadium in Omdurman with ten men as cap-
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ma that the world has come to love and respect for his leadership qualities which he developed from his uncompromising stand against the apartheid regime in his native country and the battle for which he dedicated his life. Having spent the greater part of his life fighting the white rule in South Africa which eventually led to his life imprisonment, one would have expected Mandela to cling on to power when he was eventually elected President in 1996. Unlike some African leaders who after getting to the corridors of of power, will want to forever remain in office, Mandela willingly relinquished power when he decided to step aside as the leader of the African National Congress, ANC, to pave way for other, younger and more energetic generation of leaders to run the affairs of state. Mandela is held in awe the world over today due to the principles he stood for and the examples he had shown in leadership. His influence today is not limited to South Africa, but to the entire world who had come to see that his revolutionary stand against the apartheid regime in South Africa was a justified cause based on the principle that all men are born equal, no matter the colour of your skin or where you come from. The anxiety at the weekend was
ONE UNIQUE THING ABOUT HIM IS HIS NEVER SAY DIE SPIRIT WITH WHICH HE WEARIED THE APARTHEID REGIME WHO HAD WANTED HIM TO ABANDON THE STRUGGLE OF THE SEGREGATION AGAINST THE BLACKS the fourth time the health of the antiapartheid crusader and a statesman per excellence will be threatened since last December and on each occasion the continent had stood in prayers for God to further spare his life. Mandela has been to Africans what others have failed to be either in power or out of office. Though at an advanced age, his life has remained a source of inspiration to Africans even for those in the Diaspora. Just as South Africans went into prayers over the weekend in churches for the recovery of Mandiba, same way other countries also wish that Mandela remains with us for a long time to come,
but perhaps for the obvious challenges confronting his health these days. Even as he is advancing in age and aging physically, the world still wishes that this is not the time for him to go. But one unique thing about him is his never say die spirit with which he wearied the apartheid regime who had wanted him to abandon the struggle of the segregation against the blacks. In spite of his gruesome experience with life imprisonment with hard labour in Robben Island, the Madiba spirit refused to betray the struggle to surrendering to the baits of the white regime in the then South Africa. That spirit of selflessness for equity and a just society as being witnessed in South Africa which is now home to everyone in spite of differences in colour, religion and race contrary to the legacy of the apartheid regime is what is lacking among the leaders of these days who have been a burden to the people rather than being a blessing. They have reinvented apartheid in a new way by oppressing those they sworn to serve in the first place. It is the love for Mandela that has been the reason for the concern and the anxiety over his failing health. Apart from being a leader, a father and a politician who lived his life as a sacrifice for the sake of humanity, the people still felt the need to have him around for as long as they wish, not as nature will allow the nonagenarian to live. His contemporaries in the struggle against the colonialists and the apartheid have not been so blessed with longevity and many of them have since gone to the great beyond. Even if he had to go now, he had seen, fought the battle and the fact that a crown awaits him should not be in doubt having discharged his responsibilities effectively by shaping the course of history in his lifetime.
W/Cup 2014: Ghana ambushes Lesotho in Jo’burg tain Asamoah Gyan inspired the side with two goals to equal the record set by Ghana legend, Abedi Pele. Coach Kwesi Appiah and his 24 players in camp did recovery training hours after touching down in
Johannesburg while those who played on Friday were rested from Sunday’s light training session. SuperSport United Edwin Gyimah is yet to report to camp after failing to show up for the qualifier against the Nile Crocodiles.
The team had full-scale training yesterday as preparation continued ahead the departure to Maseru on Thursday. Ghana trails Group D leader Zambia by a point after clobbering Lesotho 4-0 in Ndola last Saturday.
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